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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    South Western Ohio

    Federal funding sought for illegal-migrant costs

    Federal funding sought for illegal-migrant costs

    Casey Newton
    The Arizona Republic
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:00 AM

    In a new sign of local officials' growing frustration over border-security issues, Phoenix will ask the federal government to reimburse the city for all costs related to fighting illegal immigration.

    With the Phoenix City Council's support, Mayor Phil Gordon directed the city staff on Tuesday to bill the federal government for costs including:

    • Investigations of criminals who are in the country illegally. advertisement

    • Jailing undocumented immigrants.

    • Environmental cleanup work at houses where undocumented immigrants are cooking methamphetamines.

    "If they're making local government do their work, then we ought to be paid for it," Gordon said. "Our taxpayers have been paying them to do it."

    The size of Phoenix's bill was unknown Tuesday but would likely be in the millions, Gordon said.

    Once approved by the council, the bill would likely be sent to the Department of Homeland Security, officials said. DHS did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

    Gov. Janet Napolitano has sought additional federal money to pay for the expense of jailing illegal immigrants. In June, the governor sought a $357 million federal reimbursement for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which helps states pay for the cost of jailing illegal immigrations.

    But the proposed invoice from Phoenix would represent the first time an Arizona city has sought reimbursement for such a wide variety of immigration-related expenses, officials said.

    Council members acknowledged that their bill was unlikely to be paid in full. But their protest could still have more than symbolic value, they said.

    "We continue to incur the costs on the local level when in fact they need to be shared, if not fully borne, by the federal government," Councilman Tom Simplot said. "Knowing that the likelihood of prevailing on this is slim, it also sends a strong message to our congressional delegation that we need help."

    A 'sanctuary city'

    Phoenix's proposal comes at a time when council members in general, and Gordon in particular, have been criticized for not doing enough to combat illegal immigration.

    A city policy that prevents police from detaining someone to inquire about that person's immigration status has led critics to brand Phoenix a "sanctuary city," which proved to be a minor liability for Gordon during his re-election campaign this year.

    Billing DHS for immigration-enforcement expenses gives city officials a chance to shift the public's attention back to the federal government, which failed this year in a high-profile effort to pass immigration reform.

    "Sending a bill sends a strong message that they need to do their part," Councilman Greg Stanton said. "There is a significant cost for congressional inaction."

    Call for change

    Gordon called for officials in other cities to joining him in demanding more federal funds for immigration enforcement at the local level.

    "Hopefully my lead will inspire other mayors to do the same thing, not only in the Valley but across the nation," Gordon said. "My goal would be that this would drive the federal government to secure the border."

    Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L'Ecuyer said invoices that the governor has sent to Washington have helped to raise awareness about the costs of illegal immigration in Arizona.

    But the state is still waiting for that $357 million.

    "I think we'll be waiting for quite a while," L'Ecuyer said.

  2. #2
    MW is offline
    Senior Member MW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    North Carolina
    NO FEDERAL FUNDS FOR SANCTUARY CITIES! Why should the federal government encourage those that ignore federal law?

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

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