County judge demands repayment from federal government for housing undocumented immigrants at jail

Bexar County spent $22 million in 12 years


BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff is demanding the federal government reimburse the county after it spent $22 million in a 12-year span housing undocumented immigrants at the county jail.

“We have decided to be compliant in working with immigration services, and so we turn over all that data to them. But the fact of the matter is they don't pick them up right away and we continue to incur that cost,” Wolff said.

Wolff wrote letters to the Department of Justice and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He said the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program requires the county to report undocumented immigrants being housed at the adult detention center for four or more days. In return, Wolff wants the federal government to pay back the money the county has spent.

He said it’s unfair, but even without payment, the county will continue cooperating with the reporting requirement.