Dean Martin asks Napolitano to ‘make good’ on her own invoice
By Linda Bentley | January 13, 2010
PHOENIX – We’ll soon see how Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano responds to not just a taste of her own medicine, but to act on her own requests to former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey in March 2008, when governor of Arizona, regarding invoices she had been submitting to his office since October 2004 for payment of the uncompensated costs of incarcerating criminal aliens.
On Jan. 4, 2010, Arizona Treasurer Dean Martin sent a letter to Napolitano, stating, “As you are aware, the state of Arizona has been grappling with a massive budget deficit of over $3 billion since your departure as governor, and as I had forecast a year ago, we have had to issue nearly $38 billion in Treasurer Warrant Notes in 2009.
“The cost of illegal immigration has exhausted our state treasury. In order to pay for the federal government’s responsibility of securing our national borders and incarcerating individuals who enter the United States illegally and commit crimes, the state has incurred hundreds of millions of dollars of debt to pay these bills.”
As a result, Martin resubmitted numerous invoices for the state’s uncompensated costs for incarcerating criminal aliens, which Napolitano, while governor, originally calculated and submitted to the federal government under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Plan (SCAAP) for FY1994 through FY2008.
Martin included copies of the original invoices submitted by Napolitano along with an updated invoice reflecting current principal and accrued interest totaling over $1 billion.
In her March 17, 2008 letter to Mukasey, Napolitano wrote, “As you know, the federal government is required by law to pay these costs, but has failed to pay more than pennies on the dollar,” citing the state was left with the “substantial unreimbursed costs.”
Napolitano called the burden on Arizona’s taxpayers “unfair” and said it was “a direct result of the federal government’s failure both to properly secure our borders and to pay the costs associated with this failure.”
She called on Mukasey to either pay up or take those inmates into federal custody as required by 8 U.S.C. § 1231(i)(1). At the time, the invoices totaled $448,565,761.83.
Napolitano reiterated such funding was not only required by law, but was desperately needed to alleviate a burden, which she stated had been “borne too long by the taxpayers of Arizona and the other border states.”
Martin wrote, “As you can see, the Administration has continued to only pay ‘pennies on the dollar’ toward the actual costs. I hope you still agree with your statements from 2008, as I do, that this funding is desperately needed to alleviate a burden that has been borne far too long by the taxpayers of Arizona and other border states.”
Martin continued, “Illegal immigration has literally broken the bank here in Arizona. Napolitano is now responsible for securing our borders and is in a position to make good on the bill she said the federal government owed.”
In conclusion, he said he looked forward to Napolitano’s prompt response “before legal remedies are pursued to recoup this long overdue debt to the taxpayers of the state of Arizona.