Mexican mayors: Hey, give us a little notice before you deport those illegal immigrant criminals back home

Posted on May 31, 2011

Since the Supreme Court decided last week that the state of California must reduce its prison population by 30,000+ convicted criminals, some Mexican officials are in a bit of a panic.  Although no decision on how the state is going to meet the requirements of the court’s decision has been announced, many think that since there are so many Mexicans populating the California prison system, an easy way to reduce the state prison population would be to deport those Mexican nationals back to Mexico.

This solution has some Mexican mayors worrying about criminals being released into their streets:

Mexico’s border mayors say they are worried about a possible surge in deportations of criminals to their cities after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling ordered California to reduce its prison population by 33,000.

Mayors of 14 border cities from Tijuana to Matamoros meeting in Mexico City on Friday say they already have problems because U.S. authorities often don’t warn them when migrants with criminal records are deported to Mexico.

“There are indications they are going to clean out their prisons,” said Manuel Baldenebro, mayor of the city of San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, which sits on the border with California and Arizona. “They (migrant inmates) are a burden, and if they are trying to economize in their jails, they see it as better to send them back.”

Part of the issue that drives the concern of these mayors is that the United States has deported prisoners such as these before, often dropping them at the border in the middle of the night without any notice.   These unannounced arrivals has the Mexican officials complaining:

“What we have seen as mayors is … that they send back migrants in the early morning hours, and sometimes they don’t give us advance notice,’’ said Everardo Villarreal, mayor of Reynosa across from McAllen, Texas.

The irony here is that most of the California prisoners who would be deported under such a plan are illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. the same way they would be returned to Mexico: without any notice.  According to the story, almost 10% of the 162,000+ criminals in the California prison system are from Mexico, and the majority of them are “undocumented.”

Understanding the concern of these mayors, we should give them a heads up to let them know who is coming their way, but shouldn’t we also try better to secure the U.S. border so we know who is coming into our country as well?