Sunday, November 6, 2011

Texas prisons housing over 6,000 illegal aliens. Who should pay the bill ?

 By Tonya Peters, Backgate Website

Closing a prison, cutting staff, and lowering operating budgets are just a few of the ways TDCJ has dealt with the current budget crunch in Texas. But as Texas deals with it's budget crunch, thousands of illegal aliens sit in Texas prisons serving time, and the state has to pay the bill. Texas logged over 6,000 illegal aliens residing in it's prisons this year, and the wave of criminals from other countries seems to only be getting bigger. The state of Texas is spending nearly $300,000 per day just to house confirmed illegal aliens in Texas prisons, most of which hailing from Mexico.

With the federal government ultimately responsible for immigration enforcement, shouldn't the feds be paying the bills ? Many think so, but the states have had to absorb those costs. TDCJ was recently forced by the legislature to close the Central unit in Sugarland, uprooting over 300 employees and sending the assigned offenders to other state prisons. A move many promised would not happen.

State Senator John Whitmire, Senate chair for the house committee on criminal justice stated;

"Closing prisons ought to be a result of having excess capacity that results from having diversion and treatment programs that are successful, to build new efficiencies into a system to make it work better, to be smarter about how we approach criminal justice," and has been a long time supporter of deporting alien criminals to avoid Texas prison stays.

Texas has had to absorb not only the cost to house these offenders, but also the cost of prison health care, and representation for these offenders. As Texas teachers are being let go for lack of state funds and social programs being cut, maybe we need to focus more on how to rid ourselves of this taxpayer burden we incur in our prisons and place the burden on the Federal government where it belongs. Email your State Representative today!

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