Under President Obama's new proposal to sharply cut a federal program that partially reimburses states and counties for expenses of jailing undocumented immigrants, Georgia taxpayers would have to bear more of these costs.
Over the past three years, Georgia’s state prison system and local jails together have received about $10 million from the federal program for incarcerating thousands of undocumented people.
The Obama administration is proposing to cut $170 million from the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program as part of the federal budget for next fiscal year, shrinking it to $70 million. This may actually be a blessing in disguise because the jail lobbying group is one of the largest supporters of immigration detention even for small offenses like traffic of undocumented immigrants. For example, Cobb County in Georgia received the fourth-largest amount of funding from the program in Georgia last year but also held over 60% of undocumented immigrants in jail over traffic and minor offenses. So if a county like Cobb wants to continue to jail people for no reason, they should do it on their own expense, not the federal government's expense, which currently does not want to deport people under these circumstances.