Three days before he entered the presidential race, Rick Perry sent a letter asking for $350 million in federal money to reimburse Texas for the cost of jailing illegal immigrants. To the wrong department.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was asked about Perry’s letter at a roundtable with reporters yesterday. As the former Governor of another border state, she said she got where he was coming from.
“I think he copied my letter when I was governor of Arizona. I think he subbed `Texas’ for `Arizona,’ ” Napolitano said.
In the letter, Perry blamed the federal government for not securing the border with Mexico, according to the AP. He said that resources for county jails were being depleted because the federal government was failing to combat illegal immigration.
But he sent it to the wrong agency. The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which partially reimburses states for the costs of jailing illegal immigrants, is run by the Justice Department and not the Department of Homeland Security, so Napolitano told reporters that they forwarded his letter there.