by William Teach | March 19, 2017 8:31 am
Perhaps California should rethink it’s policies on being a haven for illegals and they wouldn’t have to be quite concerned with seeing this policy cut
(LA Times) For all of the unprecedented elements of President Trump’s federal budget plans, there’s an item buried in the list of detailed spending cuts that has a familiar, contentious political legacy in California.
Trump has proposed canceling federal government subsidies to states that house prisoners and inmates who are in the U.S. illegally. He’s not the first president to try it, and undoubtedly will get an earful from states like California.
For sheer bravado, the award for defending that subsidy probably goes to former Gov. Pete Wilson. In a letter sent to federal officials in 1995, two days after Christmas, Wilson threatened to drop off one of the state’s undocumented prisoners — in shackles, no less — on the doorstep of a federal jail. (He never actually did it.)
The opening makes it seem as if it is all subsidies. No
Wilson had won a second term the year before, with a blistering campaign attacking illegal immigration. His time in office was also marked by persistent state budget problems, and the money mattered. The state never got as much as it wanted, though, and years of squabbles followed over the fate of the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, established as part of the sweeping immigration reforms of 1986.
Just one program. Getting rid of it will save, according to Trump’s budget, $210 million. It may not seem much, in terms of the overall federal budget, but, in practical terms, that money is real, big, and can reduce the load on taxpayers. If California wants to be welcoming to illegal aliens, well, they can expect the really bad ones to come with the so-called good. And that’s what has happened, depending on which report you read, anywhere from 1/3rd to 1/2 of all state prisoners are illegal
Want to take a guess which state gets the most? OK, that’s an easy one.
California’s state government received $44.1 million in the 2015 federal budget year, according to Justice Department data. Add to that another $12.8 million that was paid directly to California counties, with the largest local subsidy being the $3 million paid to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
More than one-third of the entire program went to California. No other state’s share was even close. A win on this issue for the president would be particularly bitter for the state, where political animosity toward Trump is widespread.
In other words, California hates Trump, so, why should he care about California? The state made its bed by being soft on illegals, now it can deal with the fall out.
Realistically, the program will most likely survive, as it has every other time someone wants to cut it. But, it’s good to see California whine.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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