What our porous border costs you
Feds loath to repay front-line states
January 27, 2006
One cost of illegal immigration is showing up in your house payment or property tax bill - about $30 a year for the owner of a typical home.
Autopsies for illegal immigrants, extra jail room for those who commit crimes and other border-related expenses have put the county's six-year tab for border-related spending at $62.5 million.
"This amount equals 153 fully equipped sheriff's deputies that Pima County had to forgo during that period," County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said recently. During that period, the county's force of deputies was well below the per-person average of comparable jurisdictions, he said.
But while covering essential border-related services is stretching the county thin, federal reimbursement for costs related to inadequate border security amounts to pennies on the dollar, local officials say.
The largest share of such costs is borne by the Sheriff's Department, including the Pima County Jail. The county expects to spend $2.9 million to feed and clothe illegal immigrants at the jail and $4.6 million to cover extra deputies and administrators.
Though protecting the border is generally regarded as the federal government's responsibility, its wallet is virtually slammed shut when it comes to reimbursing communities for costs incurred because the border is not secure.
That means local tax bills are higher and county services are stretched thin.
Calculations such as the county's do not address the economic contributions of illegal immigrants, many of whom are picking crops or building houses for less money than American citizens would and paying money into Social Security they will never collect.
But the county's costs also do not include those incurred by other institutions, such as school districts and incorporated cities. Making a case for reimbursement will be critical to any agency seeking to shift some of the burden back to the federal government.
Huckelberry last year had county department heads and elected officers, such as the sheriff, go back through records and calculate the approximate costs in services and work hours stemming from illegal immigration. The bottom line: Federal stinginess costs us money and saps services and programs essential to the quality of life here.
"The costs exist for us," Huckelberry said last week. "We should get some help with this."
Of the $62.5 million in costs identified by county bookkeepers, combined federal and state assistance has amounted to just over 5.4 percent of the total costs to the county, Huckelberry said.
Pleas for federal help fall mostly on deaf ears, a condition that appears to become more prevalent in proportion to the distance members of Congress live from the border.
"The reimbursement is insufficient; we all know that," U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., said this week.
"It's about one-fifth to one-tenth on the return," Grijalva said.
The two-term congressman said he is working with other members of Congress on a measure that would substantially increase federal reimbursements to local jurisdictions. It is unlikely to pass, he said.
Especially because the border area is losing its most powerful congressional advocate with the retirement of longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., at the end of the year.
"That is going to be a big voice to lose," said Martin Willett, deputy county administrator.
Willett doubles as the county's policy point man with the Legislature, where the county also is applying pressure for additional reimbursement for services rendered to illegal immigrants.
Gov. Janet Napolitano last year set aside $1.5 million in state funds for distribution to the four border counties. Pima County's share was about $415,000, most of which went to the Sheriff's Department.
The governor has pledged an additional $100 million in state funds this year for border security, most of which would go to the four border counties.
Specifics are lacking.
"At this point, nobody knows how that is going to work," Willett said. "We don't know for sure what that means for Pima County."
Jail a big expense
Illegal immigrants arrested on suspicion of committing crimes here go through the local justice system and contribute to jail crowding.
Of the 1,814 inmates in the county's adult corrections system earlier this week, about 200 were illegal immigrants, sheriff's Lt. Mike Schlueter said.
"That's 200 more people that we've got to feed, clothe and provide medical care for," Schlueter said.
Being in the country illegally is treated as a civil, rather than a criminal, offense. The Sheriff's Department does not lock up people for being in the country illegally. Those apprehended who have not been arrested on suspicion of local criminal violations are turned over to federal officials for processing and repatriation.
Over six years, the costs of illegal immigrants to the criminal justice system exceed $50 million, Huckelberry's report states.
And every deputy busy with crimes committed by an illegal immigrant means one fewer deputy protecting residents.
"It becomes a stressor on the system," Willett said. "When we have to shift resources like that, how many more burglaries occur?"
Those charged with a crime in the county go through the usual criminal justice process - arraignment, jail, the courts and incarceration, if convicted.
The Pima County Attorney's Office spent almost $340,000 last fiscal year prosecuting cases involving illegal immigrants. Of that, almost $267,000 was spent on cases involving adults charged with felonies.
Defendants with no money are provided with taxpayer-paid attorneys. Last year, county Indigent Defense services for illegal immigrants totaled over $580,000 - with over $455,000 going for felony cases. A preliminary budget figure for the coming fiscal year of $771,000 for indigent defense for illegal immigrants indicates that county officials expect such prosecutions to continue to increase.
"It exacerbates our already strained caseload," said David Smutzer of the County Attorney's Office.
Smutzer said the office already is short "at least a dozen" full-time prosecutors for felony cases.
"I'd rather have that money to increase our staff size," Smutzer said.
County's health tab falling
Health care for illegal immigrants is another service that county taxpayers end up paying for. In six years, the cost has been about $11.8 million, with much of that for emergency care and hospitalization of people suffering from the effects of their trek here. That may include extreme dehydration from walking through the desert or injuries suffered when smugglers' vans packed with people blow a tire and roll over - a common occurrence.
The county's proximity to the border ensures that local hospitals care for far more such patients than hospitals far from the border.
"We have a disproportionate burden in providing health care to undocumented persons that people in Nebraska do not," Garrett Hancock, of the county's Institutional Health Division, said yesterday.
The county's costs for health care have declined in the past two years, since Kino Community Hospital was privatized and became University Physicians Hospital at Kino. Two years ago, the county's cost for illegal immigrant health care was over $3 million. For fiscal 2006-07, which starts July 1, Huckelberry is estimating that cost at $1.7 million.
100 bodies at morgue
Even the dead cost money.
The Pima County Medical Examiner's Office conducts autopsies on deceased illegal immigrants and stores the bodies until they can be turned over to the Mexican Consulate in Tucson for return home. Those services will cost more than $400,000 in the coming fiscal year, with taxpayers picking up about $140,000.
Business at the morgue from illegal immigrants is booming. Last year, the bodies of 158 suspected illegal immigrants were autopsied and stored there. For several years, the medical examiner has had to rent a refrigerated trailer at $1,000 a month to store bodies because permanent cadaver areas are above capacity.
Illegal border crossers who die in the desert often take a long time to identify. The county holds bodies of unidentified suspected illegal immigrants until they can be returned to relatives through the Mexican Consulate in Tucson. But not all bodies are identified.
"We still have over 100 border crossers still here," said Dr. Bruce Parks, Pima County's medical examiner. "We can't release a body without going through protocol."
Some bodies of suspected illegal immigrants have remained at the Medical Examiner's Office for over two years.
Parks has five forensic pathologists on staff.
"I've been, maybe naively, hopeful that the numbers would decline," Parks said.
Instead, he probably will need to hire another pathologist in the coming fiscal year to handle what he expects to be an increasing workload.
Grijalva said he and other representatives of border states will continue to try to educate lawmakers with constituencies far from the border.
Discussions about reimbursing local governments are often lost amid proposed remedies that don't address the problem.
"There is still a lot of posturing about fences, troops at the border, things like that," Grijalva said. "But we're not dealing with the costs to the local communities."
Pima County Net Costs Related to Illegal Immigrants
(table didn't come out well, click on link to see table)
FY 05/06 *
* budgeted ** Proposition 200, passed by voters in 2004, requires the county to get proof of citizenship for some services
Source: Pima County
Have you any idea of what illegals pay back to the government from No Insurance tickets?
No really, leave the poor imigrants alone. Their just trying to make a better life for themselves and you'd do the same thing if you were in their situation.
If you're serious, you're a fucking idiot. I won't waste anymore time typing the facts incase you happen to be kidding. If you're not, let me know because I can go after you with so many facts that disprove your "better life" theory.
If you are kidding, and you certainly should be, throw a smiley icon in your post next time.
I don't think he is kidding.............another "enlightened one" checks in
So you're honestly saying you would be perfectly content to sit in your shit hole hut , wondering where and when you'll get your next meal when you could be somewhere else making 7 bucks an hour (which is a lot of money down there) and have a shot for something better?
I didn't say lets throw open the gates, toss rose petals and give them hugs when they cross the border. I said I understand why the do it.
And I thought we fought a war to get rid of all the Nazis already... hainsawkill.gif
Wrong, you said that we should let them alone because they want to come here
I would do the same thing, and it would still be the US governments job to stop me from doing it
YOU do understand the meaning of illegal, right?
They are ALSO engaging in forced prostitution of CHILDREN
In addition to all the other crimes they commit, that should be reason enough to want them gone........
Well you know what, maybe if those filthy illegal aliens were simply JUST working hard to live, I still wouldn't like it, but I'd be a lot more sympathetic to their cause. Unfortunately, it's not anywhere near that simple.
First of all, in the state of AZ for instance and many other states including your own, violent crimes such as murder, home invasions and kidnapping and non-violent crimes such as car theft and drug dealing have risen sharply do to the invasion of illegal aliens. The proof is there if you want to see it, it's them doing it! What about the numerous accidents they cause? They're uninsured to boot, yeah that great! Someone is paying that, and yeah you guessed it, it's me and you.
Now lets talk about some other costly things besides the crimes themselves, do you think it's cheap to jail these pieces of shit? I can assure you it isn't. And welfare fraud, what about that? How about the unpaid medical costs that illegal aliens seem to keep sticking the tax payer with?
How do you feel about illegal aliens driving down wages in many fields such as construction? Do you think that's cool? If so why? Do you want an unskilled piece of shit building your next $300k home so that the builder makes bigger profits? I don't.
Let's talk about education for a minute, don't you realize that illegal aliens children are a burdern on our already taxed education system? If so, what's the answer, for U.S. citizens to pay higher taxes? If you say yes, you must not be old enough to really value money yet.
I won't even go into all the other "less impacting" problems those roaches create and their extremely rude filthy third world behavior.
So let me ask you this one final question. You say they "want a better life". What does that really mean? Where do you draw the line? Does a better life mean they are entitled to whatever I have? Whatever you have? Or something better than what they already have? Ask someone from Ethiopia if they think Mexicans from Mexico have it bad? I bet THEY say no. See, it's all relative really, what is a better life? I wouldn't mind having more money myself, can I just take what I want? If not, why? I just want a better life.
And one last thing, why should legal U.S. citzens have to pay "the price" for illegal aliens wanting a "better life"? In fact. why6 should any given person have to pay the price for some other persons wanting of a better life?
Oh yeah, and your Nazi anology, that's assinne. The two have absolutely nothing whatsoever in common. Beside blurting out "Nazi" like liberals do the try and end arguments, why don't you explain the connection between our feelings towards an uncontrolled invasion and Nazi era Germany/ Can you do that? I think you can't.
I would do the same thing, and it would still be the US governments job to stop me from doing it
YOU do understand the meaning of illegal, right? hey
In addition to all the other crimes they commit, that should be reason enough to want them gone........
Oh yea, I forgot about the last time I went into a mexican grocery store and was asked if I wanted to fuck a 10 yr old for a dollar. hatYou oughta take a look at different cultures and try to learn something from them. Unless you enjoy living in a fishbowl.
Try answering the hard questions that I proposed. You called B.S. on 22 bad? Are you kidding? You're B.S. for lying about illegal aliens NOT commiting crimes.
I can already tell you're an illegal alien loving sympathizer, and what's worse is you're in law enforcement...assuming you're not full of shit about that too.
Okay, you said "leave them alone"
then you say you didn't say "to open our gates to them"
NOW you say that they don't engage in forced prostitution of CHILDREN
or, is it that they just don't do it often enough to bother you
tell me, how many White Americans do you know of running Child brothels?
I don't care if you are really a Cop or not, you are an idiot and an illegal supporter, and........
ILLEGAL IS NOT A RACE YOU IGNORANT FLOCKTARD
And I can tell your some Aryan Nation Nazi piece of shit. seeing how you and 22bad seem to have this particular agenda that your always posting about. Come to my town and I'll make sure you get to stay in the sureno block at the state penn.
And to end this lovely converstation I shall quote my favorite movie: "Be Silent! I have no time to bandy crooked words with a witless worm!"
also a reminder that NO ONE should take AR15.com quite this seriously
Actually, the point is that those CRIMINAL ILLEGAL ALIENS should NOT be in OUR prisons
You can't really be a Cop, you love illegals too much, and your race card playing is weak too
You are the one with the agenda, I want the laws against illegals enforced
If you were really a Cop, you would want the same thing too, later......I know you will continue your bs
Jackoff! I knew you couldn't debate me.
Stay off ARFCOM's GD, especially when illegal invaders are concerened. I broke you already and I was just getting started.
You're not going to lock up shit, you're not even law enforcement, you're some dip stick illegal loving highschool kid.
Run away now, you obviously can't back up the shit you spew!
Let the illegals stay home and fix their own country and they won't have a reason to come here.
But since their own govt. encourages them to come here and send the money earned here back home, why bother.
This is our country NOT theirs or anyone elses. If anyone wants to immigrate here, fine, do it LEGALLY or stay the fuck home !!
Build a wall, mine the area and SHOOT ANYONE coming across it. That WILL end the problem.
That's where your mother and father go every day to give the inmates' free blowjobs and illegal immigrants get a free poke at your sister.
You said it a hell of a lot nicer than I would have. I've got beer balls tonight!!! And I don't want to get banned.
Were to f'n begin...
Dude I can't speak for where you are but up here in lil' old Idaho our local Mexican population is 20-25% of the population and they commit between 70-80% of the crimes. Racist it is not, prejudice it is not. It is FACT. If you are attacked it will most likely be by a Mexican. If your car is stolen it is most likely by a Mexican. If you are involved in a hit and run accident the perp is most likely Mexican. That is just life here.
Our county attorney tried to sue (he is of Mexican decent BTW) Mexico for damages but was shot down by the fed.
I wonder how he could ensure that? I smell something........
Isn't this like rule number 42 of internet chat rooms?
The first person to call a nazi reference is automatically banned for life for being too stupid to breathe?
Or is it that falling back on the nazi call is actually the eqivalent to saying your getting your ass kicked so hard you're actually crying and have soiled your panties and your momma is busy and can't console you right away so you pul out the nazi label to shut down the discussion?
Have you any idea of the number of places that ACTUAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS are unable to enforce the law because it might unduly burden the illegal f'n scum population?
No insurance tickets... Yeah right...
Which laws can I break publicly with the full coorperation of our federal government in order to have a better life??? OMFG I can't f'n believe it!!!
Why are so many of our (cough) fellow country men (lightly used) determined to bring about the end???
This illegal alien lover Selvatico has already been proven to be a fucking flake.
He acted like he wanted to actually debate...until he found out he was going to have to debate someone that actually knows the facts.
After that he pussed out and logged off for the night.
Fixed it for you!!
Most of them are just stupid and easily mislead by the media, schools and dem legislators
But, this one is most likely an illegal himself. I wonder why he doesn't post on the LEO Forum?
I think you called it 22bad.
Yeah, Selvatico is almost without a doubt, a fucking filthy roach himself.
Tagged for home
Do you have any idea how much $ illegals with no insurance pay when they get in a car accident because they can't read the street signs and crash into another car?
Seriously, which do you think is more? The money illegals pay in no-insurance citations (again, taking up police resources) or the amount of money they pay when they crash cars that they are not licenced or insured to drive.
Which part of Utah are you a LEO in again?
I think we agree.
I don't know everything, but every article or person I've talked to that's ben involved with an accident with an illegal has one outcome.
1) The illegal runs away either on foot or with their car to avoid getting caught either immediately or before the court date and gets off scott free without paying a cent for damages or medical bills.
2) The American has to pay for damages to his or her vehicle, medical bills, and cover their own lost wages even if they make it to court.
I'm sure there have been 'undocumented' cases were an illegal actually does the right thing and pays for the damages they do, but if they were in the mind to do the right thing then they would have had insurance, titles, registration, and oh yeah not been here illegally in the first place.
Also see: Reductio ad Hitlerum...