Governor Schwarzenegger, in an "off-the-cuff" remark on Monday, offered a possible solution to prison reform problems and the state's budget woes: exporting prisoners who are also illegal immigrants to a prison in Mexico.
"We pay them to build a prison down in Mexico and then we have those undocumented immigrants be down there in the prison," the governor posited. "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."
The comment, which struck me as pretty casual and slightly nutty given the gravity of such a plan, and struck the Sacramento Bee as "not vetted," was quickly managed by a spokesman for the governor.
"It's an idea that people have mentioned to him," Aaron McLear said. "We need to spend less on prisons and more on higher education, and he thinks we ought to debate any creative solutions to do that."
While not an official proposal, according to McLear, the governor's comments made waves today. No word on who all is headed to the California prison in Mexico. Probably because it's just an idea people have mentioned to him.
— Cynthia Foster