Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Schwarzenegger Brainstorms: Send prisoners to Mexico

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger floated a different approach to trimming down California’s bloated prison budget on Monday: pay Mexico to build new prisons and ship off California’s incarcerated illegal immigrants south of the border.

The Republican governor has pushed to house California inmates out-of-state before -- but never in a different country.

“We can do so much better in the prison system alone if we can go and take inmates, for instance the 20,000 inmates that are illegal immigrants that are here, and get them to Mexico,” Schwarzenegger said during a question-and answer session at the Sacramento Press Club. “Think about it.”

It’s cheaper to build prisons in Mexico, Schwarzenegger reasoned, and it’s cheaper to staff them there to boot.

“We pay them to build the prison down in Mexico,” the governor said. “...Half the costs to build the prisons and half the costs to run the prisons. That is money -- $1 billion right there -- that could go into higher education.”

The idea is not a new one. Jim Nielsen, a former head of the state’s parole board and now a state assemblyman, promoted the idea in the mid-1990s. It never happened.

The governor’s office said no specific prisoners-in-Mexico plan is in the works -- just yet. “There’s no proposal,” said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear. “He was mentioning a creative solution we should talk about.”

1 comment:

  1. Not for nothing but I'd have to agree with him. Why are we even housing these people in America when they are ILLEGAL immigrants to begin with. But herein lies the problem. Even if we build cheaper jails to house them in Mexico, who's to say that the Mexican government will keep them behind bars? And why shouldn't the Mexican government pay us for holding them here in the US. I mean come on, they apparently escaped from Mexico in the first place and made their way over into the US where they resorted to crime (once again for those who were already criminals in Mexico) and lived better than most of the nations poorest people. I mean three square meals, a place to live and TV they are making out like kings compared to the homeless people who walk the streets of many US cities.

    I say build the prison and good riddance and see to it that they cannot come back into the US once their sentence has been served. But how to make that happen is another story that in the US will become a whole hot topic issue that no politician will want to touch for fear of upsetting particular communities which if you ask me really have no reason to speak out on the topic since "Illegal" means just that - ILLEGAL - as in breaking the law, having no rights, no discussion!