Obama Administration Launches New End-run Around Congress

Yet another program designed to identify deportable aliens appears to be on the Obama administration’s chopping block. In its latest move, the administration is again acting unilaterally to slash funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), a $400 million a year program that compensates local jurisdictions around the country for the costs of jailing illegal aliens. The administration has tried to stop the compensation program all together by cutting it out of the budget sent to Congress, but Congress has resisted and has continued to fund the program.

Now, the administration has decided that if Congress will not eliminate the SCAAP, it will act on its own to eliminate the largest segment of the compensation. Local jurisdictions receive SCAAP funds – which reimburse them for only a fraction of the cost of incarcerating foreign criminals – by providing information on prisoners who are foreign born and the period of time they are imprisoned. The federal government apportions funds based on the number of aliens recognized as deportable aliens and a share of those aliens who are “unknown” to the immigration authorities. The latter category – the unknown aliens – is the largest group, accounting for 58 percent of the prisoners.

The administration claims the cuts are due to budget pressures, but the real reason probably has more to do with furthering its policy of non-enforcement. The SCAAP program alerts the federal authorities of aliens who should be deported when released from prison, and the unknown aliens identified by the program provide a lead for the immigration authorities to investigate to establish their deportability. The administration appears to be trying to suppress this source of information coming from local law enforcement officials about jailed aliens in addition to those already scheduled for deportation.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    The best way to combat Obama is to raise hell with our state governors and legislatures. Hopefully, then they will pressure congress into doing the right thing. Obama should be impeached for deriliction of duty. God help this country is that bastard is re-elected. We’re slowly but surely turning into a third world country.

  2. avatar

    Let rename United States of America into United Mexico. If we continue support President Obama and his Democratic Party leaders including Sen. Reid and H.R. Pelosi and many more. Democratic Party SUPPORT AMNESTY FOR 12 MILLION OR MORE ILLEGAL ALIENS. What happen to RULE OF LAW? We must defeat President Obama and Democratic Party in November.

  3. avatar

    We have to vote this irresponsible manout of office. Get out and vote and encourage everyone you know to do the same this November. Romney may not be perfect, but he’s a hell of lot better than Obama.

  4. avatar

    This is as if the Administration wishes to INNOCULATE OUR COUNTRY WITH A MALIGNANT VIRUS. (Criminals)
    LIKE BEGETS LIKE. His intentions are focused on doing “good” but are focused on the WRONG group.
    This mind-set is ERRONEOUS. ……and has FAR reaching effect.

  5. avatar

    This gets more bizarre/unbelievable by the day – They want to circumvent Congress to cut funding for local jurisdictions already paying the lions share for keeping CRIMINAL ILLEGALS WHO’VE COMMITTED WHO ONLY KNOWS WHAT KIND OF MAYHAM OFF THE STREETS – T hey want to disarm us so we’re completely helpless and then turn this disease loose so they can continue their MAYHAM UNABATED? IMPEACH THE TRAITORS NOW – STARTING WITH CONTEMPT OF COURT ALUMNI –

  6. avatar

    This is nothing new. Just like Amtrak, SCAAP is unpopular with presidents but popular with congress. Geo. Bush wanted SCAAP funding increased while governor of Texas but wanted funding slashed while president.

    Given Obamas record, it’s not about the budget but rather about removing an incentive for local law enforcement to cooperate with ICE in identifying aliens.

  7. avatar

    Good to know he still has the plight of 20 million unemployed Americans on the forefront of his priorities…November can’t get here fast enough.

  8. avatar

    Our evil government is really out to put us under. I can’t understand why they hate Americans so much. Some of them are actually citizens of this country, but you would never know it by their actions. Of course, the KING is not a citizen, no record of him ever applying for citizenship since he came to the United States as a citizen of Indonesia. That may explain his attitude, but the rest of our “leaders”??? They all need brain surgery. The water inside the beltway must really be bad….