9 On Your Side Border Watch
Mexican President: U.S. criminal deportations fueling violence in Mexico
Calderon says America's trying to save money
Reporter: Claire Doan
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV/AP) – Mexican President Felipe Calderon accused the United States of dumping criminals at the border because it is cheaper than prosecuting them – adding that the practice has made Mexico’s border towns more dangerous.
Calderon made the comments at an immigration conference Thursday, on the heels of U.S. officials reporting a record number of deportations for the 2011 fiscal year.
Among the deportees “there are many who really are criminals, who have committed some crime and it is simply cheaper to leave them on the Mexican side of the border than to prosecute them, as they should do, to see whether they are guilty or not,” Calderon said. “And obviously, they quickly link up with criminals on the border.”
State Senator Frank Antenori asks: What’s wrong with that?
“ We have people that enter this country illegally, broke our laws, served jail time in our jails at our taxpayers' expense and what does he want us to do? He wants us to keep them here? i don't see where the logic is,” Antenori told KGUN9 News.
However, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony said Calderon is partly justified because the federal government should better communicate to Mexico about those being deported.
“I think it would've been more appropriate if they had a dialogue with regards to some of the individuals that they're dumping or deporting at the port – that could be causing problems for the residents up there> Estrada said, adding that it doesn’t just impact Mexico.
“It affects the relationship that we have with our neighbors, specifically it affects tourism. It could have an impact in a lot of ways, so yeah we're concerned as well.”
However, Antenori is more concerned about the financial toll that criminals have here – and welcomes keeping them in the United States, if the Mexican President is willing to pitch in.
“The housing, the food, everything they consume on this side, if he's willing to pay the rent maybe we'll keep them, but until them we're not foot the bill. We're going to send them back to their country of origin.”
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said the agency deported nearly 400,000 people this fiscal year, the largest in the agency’s history, with the majority of them from Mexico. Over half have a criminal record in the United States.