Perry: Feds Owe Texas For Incarcerating Illegal Immigrants

By Julian Aguilar, The Texas Tribune

121348113 Perry: Feds Owe Texas For Incarcerating Illegal Immigrants

AUSTIN (The Texas Tribune) – Just days before announcing his candidacy for president, Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter to the Obama administration saying Washington owes Texas more than $349 million for Texas’ incarceration of illegal immigrants.

In the letter, first reported today by The Associated Press, Perry said that cost is directly associated with the federal government’s failure to secure the border, an oft-repeated rebuke of the Obama administration that Perry has been repeating on the campaign trail.

The letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, dated Aug. 10, says the federal government’s failure to secure the border “continues to burden local communities and resources in Texas.”

“Therefore on behalf of all the taxpaying citizens of Texas, I am respectfully submitting a reimbursement request in the amount of $349,283,453 for state and local costs of incarcerating illegal immigrants,” Perry wrote. The letter includes a statement from Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, who says the request is “reasonable” despite being a “conservative estimate.”

Perry said his office made the multimillion-dollar calculation using figures from the Texas Association of Counties and the U.S. Department of Justice. He acknowledged the government has partially reimbursed the state for its participation in the DOJ’s State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, but said it is not nearly enough. To drive home his point, Perry included in his letter language from a similar plea Napolitano sent to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in 2005, when she was governor of Arizona.

“As you stated in 2005 … while the federal programs such as the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) provide some of the reimbursement to county jails, the ‘sum bears no relationship whatsoever to the state’s actual average costs of incarcerating criminal aliens,’” Perry wrote.

Perry, who has made his job creation record as governor a staple of his fledgling campaign, has been somewhat quiet on immigration and border security. As Perry continues to make headway among the field of Republican candidates, however, immigration issues — and whether Perry has been hard enough on them — could take center stage.

Political analysts say that Perry must toe a careful line on immigration, following a legislative session where he pushed hard for state enforcement of immigration laws. The longest-serving governor of Texas has alienated some potential supporters after his push to ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas. Comparisons have been made between that legislation — which would have prevented local governments and law enforcement entities from adopting policies preventing peace officers from inquiring into the immigration status of persons arrested or detained — and more extreme proposals initiated in Arizona and other states. Perry, however, has continued to say the Texas law would have only allowed officers to use their discretion, as opposed to being required to ask about status. The measures failed to pass in Texas during the regular and special sessions of the 82nd Legislature.

The full text of the letter is below:

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune


One Comment

  1. Hoo says:

    What’s wrong with this? The Obamaites toss away this much money hourly, and I ain’t big on Rick Perry.

    1. debra says:

      well I’m very disappointed in how we are treating these families they are here to only make a better life for their families if it the cartile your worried about do somethingat the bordes don’t disrupt the families that are already over here making a life a good life for their kids how selfish are we as the mother country we have more US citizens over here dealing and selling drugs killing and rapping and living off the system these are hard working ppl that are doing jobs you wouldn’t do why take this for them if it helps to make a better future for a child i will pay alittle more in my taxes then to send that child back to a country where ther is no hope no way of life shame on us the land of the free mmmm really how free are we nest they will try and send black back to africa where will it stop how far are we as humans willing to go to to dishonore another human begin when there only crim is wanting a better way of life i say let them have it they are her eit will cost more money in holding them and deportating them then it will to allow themto stay and earn a good living unless the have a convection that is gross to our nation such as killing robbing drug dealing i say let them stay and those that have serious charges send themback i can agree to that i willnot be voting on the man that want to support this immagration law and i have many friends that support this as well whee is your heart how can you send a child over to a home where there families did wahtthey had to do to keep them safe from the gangs I’m SMH at my country for not having a heart AThe land of the Free yea right

      1. debra says:

        I thought america was one big melting pot …we are no dfferent than the man with the white sheet coming at you in the dark to hang you by your neck,, really where is the pesontht wil sand up and be there voice that te man i want as my president

  2. Don says:

    Three cheers for Governor Perry!!! Michele Obama may have to forgo a couple of vacations!!!

    1. Marvin says:

      Rick Perry should have to refund his salary when he is not on his job. George W. Bush did the same thing and the state of Texas provided all or most of his campaign for president. And our current president is not even a US citizen?

  3. C Bauer says:

    Why am I now going from loathing this guy to loving him?

    1. Land says:

      Because Perry turns a blind eye to Mexicans coming here to work for his friends. Perry is a liar.

      Death Bonds.

      1. DallasCynic says:

        That’s right, coming to work, to improve their lot. There’s nothing wrong with that.
        INS is a bureaucrat’s dream and everyone else’s nightmare. I had a family member bring his wife over from Dominica, no record, not even a parking ticket. It took years even with a high end attorney trying to get those nitwits in Washington to sign a piece of paper

  4. just sayin says:

    Perry is a tool and should be treated as such.

  5. MJM says:


    1. NiteNurse says:

      SO IF WE GET RID OF THE ILLEGALS WHO EXACTLY IS GOING TO BE OUR CHEAP LABORS? WHO WILL WORK AT THESE CONSTRUCTION JOBS, HOUSEKEEPING, PICK PRODUCE, AND DO GROUNDSKEEPING WORK? I know you never had been directly or indirectly the benefited from the labor of illegal aliens have you? Americans aren’t willing to pay high prices to have lazy Americans do their work so they employ illegal Mexicans. Think about that the next time you look at the faces doing the jobs you obviously don’t want to do!!!

      1. dt says:

        I’m not so sure they make things cheaper. They just make employers richer. Employers don’t pass their savings along to consumers out of kindness.

      2. KATHY CODY says:


      3. B says:

        simple demand for these task will rise, there for the cost of these task will rise so the so called lazy with will start doing them, AMERICANS wil be employed and acual taxes will be paid, the econamy improves as a result and goverment coffers are put back in the black, everyone is happy.

    2. Wheeler says:

      he can’t – I live here and the whole thing is bogus. The Mexican drug cartels are alive and kicking in the Great State of Texas and remember – it’s YOUR tax dollars he wants to come to our state. If you want to give us money, that’s fine. Perry is a total fraud – and in this case, a liar.

      1. altha says:

        Wheeler you sure hit the nail on the head that time, Perry is a liar and very corrupt Perry trying to get campaign money.

    3. JACK says:

      perry is just running off at the mouth. he lies just like every other pollltician.
      don’t trust him . ha hasn’t done it as governor of texas what makes you think he can as president.

      1. Dennis Segerson says:

        He has had a real job. Something the president has never had. Eric Holder is a total rasict. What about all of those illegal gun purchases the JOD allowed. People in Mexico and the US have been murdered with these guns. Anti business extremely overregulating business. Obviously, this is the most welfare minded president in our history. I was born in 1952, and this administration was built around people with no work history. Just Ivy League education.

  6. Gary says:

    Perrys the MAN!!! Why he won’t do what Governor Brewer has done is beyond me. I think if he does win the election or if the republicans do take back the senate and the WH than he will get alot tuffer on the immagration laws. Even though he hasn’t been as tough, but he also has to appease the latino’s in Texas to. Tight rope to have to walk when you are a governor on a border state. But unlike Napolitano I don’t think Perry will sell his soul to the devil for a job title. And if he does make presidentf I hope he goes after states with santuary cities in them like he did in Texas. I mean enough is enough. If we don’t get our borders fixed we are never going to get our economy going strong again. Anyway if he does make president I hope he makes a check out himself to pay back Texas and Arizonia for having to fit the bill that the feds were suppose to be paying for. Also I bet you bucks if Perry gets elected Govenor Brewer will get her bill reinstated back to its original form. And Napolitano will either resign or Perry will fire her. Either way it’s going to be a good year in 2012 for conservatives. Oh yeah and lets not forget!! Bye, Bye ObamaCare. That will knock off about 1.7 trillion right off our deficit and then we can finally get some real budget cuts and hopefully get our AAA credit rating back. One can only hope.

  7. AC says:

    But who will take the many jobs he has created if they are sent south?

  8. Wheeler says:

    OK, this is so funny – Rick wants the US government to pay. Last I heard, I paid taxes to the US government – so he wants me to pay for a bogus claim that he’s done anything about illegal immigration. I live in Dallas and if you don’t think the Mexican drug lords have set up shop in Texas, you are living in another world. It’s your gardeners and maids he’s rounding up and sending back – don’t kid yourself.

    1. Deva Singh says:

      Such anger.

      Nite Nurse, construction in TX pays good, and there’s plenty of work for everyone–which draws illegal immigrants.
      I clean my own stuff.

      I eat at Taco Bell

      I have done alot of landscaping on my own, as hard as that may be for you to
      believe about us lazy Americans

      You know us/me so well

  9. spanishgold says:

    after all this time being Governor, why CANT HE protect the Border? Think about it- his Big donors are the Corporations that benefit from cheap labor.

    1. Enlightened says:

      Exactly. He’s the most powerful governor in the U.S. If he wanted to enact sweeping immigration reform he would have done so by now.

    2. Land says:

      Exactly. End of story.

      And by the way, because Perry is afraid to have a real budget that pays for roads, he’s selling our land to foreign companies to build toll roads.

      1. altha says:

        Perry get’s a BIG-CUT from all toll roads.

  10. dt says:

    He is adamant about government spending. Wouldn’t this be government spending? Isn’t this the guy who said he would keep the federal government to an absolute minimum influence in our lives?
    We tolerate illegals because we want their rich employers to be richer. The employers do not pass their savings along out of kindness. You see illegals doing lawn care etc. You don’t see them working for Bo Pilgrim and other big processors, but they are there.
    Social Security would be better off if illegals had to contribute, but then their employers would have to make their matching contributions.
    Instead of making their legal contributions to SS, they prefer to make donations to Perry’s favorite lobbies.

  11. rogerv says:

    What the feds owe perry is a stay at Guantanamo. They need to ship his sorry @$$ to Gitmo for suggesting secession from the Union. He’ll prolly enjoy his stay with the other inmates there, esp those who’ve been eager for the virgins.

  12. Lynn says:

    Perry is a total Idiot, why should the Government pay back for his Lack of Securing the borders. Heck, he may just have an Illegal or two working for him and paid under the table. Typical Texas trash that needs to be thrown out with all the Illegals in Texas and their prisons. Perry is a Joke! Period!

    1. rogerv says:


      Good Point!

    2. Richardw says:

      100% correct.

  13. Kh says:

    Rick Perry is trying to say its Obama fault when he very clearly that this was going on before Obama took office. He just don’t want to say the Bush s did it because they are all in the sme bed. What he can’t even be honest. Sly fox . The song says You better watch out you better not pout. Well no pountin If Perry takes you better scream.

  14. Kh says:

    REPEAT. The sly fox is on the trail

  15. Frank Abbott says:

    This American Hitler needs to be brought to his knees. He sounds more like a dictator every time he opens his mouth. Perry sounds and acts like a very scary tabloid character. If this bozo, who continues to stir up things, rants and raves like a village idiot, is by some insane manner, like voter manipulation, like in the the Bush, Jr. election, this country will loose all of its dignity and integrity.

    1. Land says:


    2. Lew says:

      Frank you just showed you are not quiet that which you wish others to believe you are. You are the one ranting and raving ….sounds like you are the one who needs to be brought to your knee’s. Maybe while you are down there, maybe it would be a good idea to see if there is anyone you need to talk to. I am guessing you haven’t been on your knees in a very long time. Spare us your rants….please. It’s people such as yourself that has caused our country to lose its dignity and integrity.

  16. Rufus says:

    I would like Mr. Perry to tell us which article in the US Constitution requires the federal government to pay for his alleged incarceration of alleged illegal immigrants. The sooner we let Texas [and Alaska] separate from our union the better it will be for the USofA. Let Mr. Perry and his band of Tea Party Republicans run their country in accord with the social and political policies they want to foist on the sane people in our country.

  17. Texas Woman says:

    Perry is THE MAN! Send those illegal criminals back to Mexico and if they return, then let’s just ship them to Pennsylvania Avenue right to Obama’s doorstep.

  18. Rod says:

    perry is a fool and a crooks and while say and do anything to keep his name in headlines.He knows good and well the feds are not going to pay up on this dumb idea and many here blindly saying”go perry” on something that has no chance to hold water.What sheep there thou art.

    1. altha says:

      Perry is trying to get campaign money he will do and say anything to get it, he don’t mine telling a lie it comes easy for him.

  19. darrell says:

    in a country where our president promotes the illegal insurgency from mexico you can expect no help. homeland security should treat these people like the terrorist that they are.

  20. charels says:

    I wonder why he never sent Bush a Letter. OH, WAIt. Bush was a Republican.

  21. charles says:

    Illegals, The perfect excuse for Business not to pay a fair wage.

  22. Land says:

    This is clearly one of those statements that was prepped for him by his donors.

    “Look Rick, you have to say you hate the fed and Mexicans all in one statement, or we are going to fund your campaign. Got it?”

    1. DallasCynic says:

      He doesn’t any Mexicaans. He just doesn’t want us to pay for those who come here and commit crimes. They need to be sent home on the Feds’ dime.

      1. Land says:

        Would he like a magic pony, too?

        Crime is crime. When Perry invites a Mexican here to work that Mexican brings his heritage.

  23. Holly Terror says:

    You people are missing the point. It is not about cheap labor or illegal aliens. It is about the COST of INCARCERATING the ILLEGALS who commit CRIMES. The Federal Government is suppose to PROTECT our borders. It does not, so they should pay STATES who do their JOB for them.

  24. osanruca says:

    Let us do sone research on whom your campaign supporters are and find ou
    t how many of these what they call illegals they have employed in the past or they still employed and what kind of penalty they paid for it, Mr. Perry, What have you done about that isn’t this a crime too, your are as dirty as they are.

  25. walt says:

    if people work those jobs we would not have all this unemployment. they chose to be at home and get paid with food stamps and welfare then go out there bust their ass for 7.50 a hour. they need to cut all this free money if they want people to work those jobs.

  26. darrell says:

    ok, here is the ONLY point that matters. it does not matter who owes who what. it does not matter who works for who and who dont. it does not matter about anchor babies, benefits illegals get, crime they commit, sending convicted illegals back to their home countries, doing away with sanctuary cities or any of this.
    none, zero, nada of any of these problems will ever be solved until someone closes that damn border. the current administration refuses to address it and that needs to change.
    closing it will cost a lot of money no matter who does it. also, whenever someone does finally decide to do it, you can expect riots in the streets.
    but until it is closed this country will continue to go down the tubes, it is financially unsustainable by this country.

  27. Randay Knowles says:

    You get em Perry. The South warned us in 1861 of the potential abuses of Federal power. Now, its here in spades. They support what laws they want to and disregard what doesn’t suit them.

  28. tim says:

    Perry is a moron.Obama has deported more than Bush did in 8 years in only 3.I thought Perry wanted DC to stay out of state business? It was Perry’s choice to detain these idiots so pay for it creep.

  29. Mary's Grandmother says:

    Perry is a jerk of the highest order, but the academic experiment currently occupying the white house has FAILED SO MISERABLY that it’s worth giving anyone, ANYONE, else a chance. We need a problem solver (it doesn’t matter who cause the problems anymore) in the white house, not a spineless finger pointer.

  30. altha says:

    Mary’ Grandmama, What do you want the occupying in the White house to do that Junior Bush didn’t do? you never made a sound when this idiot was in the White house. This idiot (Junior Bush) mess this country up so bad it will take years and years to straighten out. Why didn’t you open your flap at that time?

  31. Ryan Barrows says:

    You’ve been warned, Perry is nothing but a fraud and takes credit where there is no credit due. He’s a bigger liar then Bush. He wants nothing but your vote when he cant even run his own state. Why they keep re-electing him I’ll never know. He’s dumber then dumb. Texas Schools are going to end up like the ones in California. Oh but we have plenty of money. LAIR……

    1. DallasCynic says:

      Doubt it. The unions run the schools in California, like they ruin the whole wretched state, used to be very nice too. Perry won’t let them get their foot in the door.
      That’s why Obama does not likeTexas. We stand for something and mean it

  32. Sam Adams says:

    What, Texas wants even more federal welfare? Haven’t we given them enough? They have always received more of my federal tax dollars than they paid. First pay us Americans that helped the state of Texas escape from Mexico with our troops. And by the way, how about a royalty on all that oil and gas that is really owned by the American people.
    Why don’t we just sell that other big federal money suck, Alaska, back to Russia? Of course we would want interest on the 12 million we paid and royalties for all the oil that the Alaskans sold to the Japanese and sent themselves checks for. I’m tired of these whiny hypocrits who are always at the tax dollar trough but aren’t men or women enough to pay up when it’s their turn.

  33. DallasCynic says:

    We can use that money to stabilize the electricty grid that Obama wants to destroy so we’re worse off than Mexico. That would be justice, using Federal money to stop the EPA’s nonsense

    1. Land says:

      These are Perry’s immigrants. He wants cheap labor, but does not want all the costs associated with cheap labor. Instead, he wants to pass it on to the Fed.

      Yeah Yeah, I know, it takes a long time to come in legally. And it’s that way because that’s how Americans want it.

      Who says Perry does not believe in wealth distribution?

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