When people enter this country illegally and commit crimes while they are here, it is not fair to ask the States to bear the entire cost of their imprisonment. This new program will help them considerably.
After many years of virtual neglect of the illegal immigration issue, our administration is taking major steps to address this problem. First, we are making a substantial investment in efforts to reduce the flow of illegal immigration, primarily by toughening our border enforcement.
That is the Federal Government's primary responsibility in this area.
But we also need to help those States with large numbers of undocumented aliens to shoulder the resulting financial burdens. Today, we take another important step in that direction.