Tougher border security is at the heart of the debate that's led to a government shutdown, now more than three weeks old. But some immigration-related federal contracts in New Hampshire are going unpaid.
Raymond Bower is administrator for Strafford County. The Department of Corrections there has an ongoing contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to board immigration detainees in Dover.
"We received a letter -- a very nice letter -- saying you know, I'm sorry, due to the shutdown, we can't pay you," Bower says.
So far the county is only out its payment for the month of December. But that amounts to more than $236,000.
Bower says they house an average of about 100 ICE detainees a day. Those held at the Dover facility could be arrested in New Hampshire or in other New England states like Vermont and Maine.
Bower says Strafford County has also not received payment for their contract with the U.S. Marshals to house their detainees. That outstanding amount is more than $420,000.
Bower hasn't done any projections as to when the non-payment of ICE contracts would begin to affect daily operations.
“Maybe I'm naive but I honestly thought the shutdown would be over by now," Bower says.