Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Schwartzenegger's Stance on Imprisoned Illegals

In a recent article, California's governor, Arnold Schwartzenegger, suggested that illegal aliens who have been arrested and have filled California's jails and prisons to over capacity should be sent to Mexican jails. On the surface, this sounds like a great idea. But, ever a governor of half-measures, he could not leave the idea there. Instead he would like California to pay Mexico to both build special jails for these people and to house them. There they would remain Californian prisoners on Mexican land!

If I were a Californian or a Mexican, I would be insulted. These people have chosen to break our nation's laws by trespassing our borders illegally. They continue in illegal activity by not even applying for work, student, or permanent citizen visas. They further undermine the U.S.'s interests by siphoning millions of dollars (for which most do not pay taxes) out of the country. Many bring gang activity and black-market drugs and weapons with them. If anything, I would think these people would be considered prisoners of war, and not merely civil prisoners. Obviously, if they are being held, they are considered a risk to our nation. It is a great idea to send them out of the country, but building "Californian" jails in Mexico is not the answer, either. Mexican territory is sovereign land, and the U.S. should have no claim on it. Why should Mexican citizens be housed in U.S. jails in their own country. That is like me being placed in a French jail in Minnesota. Not going to happen!

Further, Schwartzenegger's big idea does not penalize Mexico for allowing these people across the border, but rewards them. Neither does this plan make any provision for keeping these people out of the U.S. in the first place, or prevent them from returning if they are ever released. He does make one good point, however. He suggests privatizing at least some prisons. This would mean lower taxes, and probably a better functioning prison system. But the practicalities of such a system would have to be examined closely, and there would likely need to be some form of government oversight.

Mr. Governor, you have good underlying instincts. Act on them! We do not need another "girly man" in office. Don't aid and abet criminals from other countries - send them to prisons in their own country. Then send the Mexican government a bill for all of the watch care of their citizens, the cost of their deportation, and a penalty for allowing people into our nation in the first place. Let it be known that people are only welcome in the U.S. when they have come through appropriate channels and have good intentions.

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