Governor Arnold Schawarzenegger spoke off the cuff with reporters (which is never a good idea).
From the Sacramento Bee:
His budget calls for an $880 million infusion from the federal government to pay for housing illegal immigrant prisoners who have committed crimes in California. The governor also wants to rely more on private prison companies.
But he also gave an off-the-cuff suggestion that California send undocumented inmates to Mexico and pay to build and run new prisons there.
"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.
"We pay them to build a prison down in Mexico and then we have those undocumented immigrants be down there in the prison," he added. "Half the cost to build the prisons and half the cost to run the prisons. That is money, again, a billion dollars right there that can go into higher education. That is an example of one of the things we do that is unnecessary spending."
I agree with him that the state shouldn’t have to spend money incarcerating people who shouldn’t have been in the United States to begin with. But pay to build prisons in Mexico? Really? That’s a craptastic idea!
Also surprise, surprise that California is putting forth a budget that requires more federal money.
I have an idea, instead of spending more money on incarcerating illegal immigrants we actually tighten our border and enforce our existing immigration laws. I know, that’s just silly.