A man in the country illegally who committed a $27,000 identity-theft crime in Scott County was able to obtain tens of thousands of dollars in governmental medical assistance, including surgery for an inflatable penis pump.
In response to heightened concern about illegal immigration since a gang-related stabbing in Shakopee, Scott County Attorney Pat Ciliberto has been tallying known costs to taxpayers and gave this example.
“There’s no logical argument for why that should have been approved,” Ciliberto told county commissioners on Tuesday. “I don’t know how many illegal aliens are getting emergency medical assistance for such a procedure.”
It is impossible to know the full cost of illegal immigrants in Scott County receiving public assistance or going through the court system, but the burden on the jail alone is staggering.
The county’s cost for housing inmates with immigration holds has grown nearly tenfold in recent years, reaching more than $307,000 last year. The impact over the last four years totaled $843,600, which doesn’t even include medical coverage.
“It should be obvious when Scott County goes from seven bookings in 2006 to 90 bookings in 2009 that Arizona’s problem is Minnesota’s problem too,” Ciliberto said.
And these numbers represent just a portion of the illegal immigrants actually housed in Scott County's jail.