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5 to $1. 6 billion per year. 3 That cost includes expenses in the federal prison system and the amount of money paid to state and local detention facilities in the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). It does not include the costs of incarceration at the state and local level, nor does it include the related local costs of policing and the judicial system related to law enforcement against criminal aliens.
The new ICE estimates could indicate high rates of criminality for immigrants overall. To the best of our knowledge it is the only estimate that the federal government has ever calculated for the size of the total immigrant population in prisons and jails. But the biggest problem with these numbers is that we have been unable to obtain a detailed methods statement explaining how ICE generated the estimates. The footnotes in the table, which we have reproduced exactly as they were provided by ICE, only provide a hint of how the figures were compiled. They state that the estimates come from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the Bureau of Prisons SENTRY system, Criminal Alien Program, and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program.