Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday offered yet another way California can save on incarcerating illegal immigrants: pay to build prisons in Mexico.
Schwarzenegger said in a Sacramento Press Club speech that rather than raise taxes, the state could find money by cutting pension costs, allowing offshore oil drilling and lowering prison expenditures.
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.