The Texas Tribune reports that county jails spent more than $156.6 million housing more than 131,000 illegal immigrants between October 2011 and September 2013.
The report by Brandi Grisson is based on state jail commission data. A 2011 bill requires jails to begin tracking data about the costs of jailing people who are in the country illegally and federal detainers.
“Those are staggering numbers,” said state Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, who authored the bill. “The federal government has got to get a grip on controlling our borders."
According to the report, Tarrant County spent $5,875,508, housing 7,578 undocumented prisoners.
“We obviously don’t have a choice in that," Sheriff Dee Anderson told the Tribune. "If they commit a crime, we are not going to turn them loose. If you just deport them, they beat the bus back to where they were.
“I’ve had people say they shouldn’t be in our jails. But if they are here and they commit a crime, they need to face justice."
-- Bill Miller