Italy has the right idea: when faced with a wave of violent crimes by Romanian immigrants (gypsies) they responded by deporting those with criminal records back to Romania (1).
In a similar vein, New Jersey is now allowing its police officers to be deputized as immigration agents (2).
Four years ago the United States reached a milestone: the prison population surpassed 2 million (3); we have had the dubious honor of housing more inmates than any nation on Earth since 1990. Since it costs over 24 grand a year to keep someone in prison [PDF] we are now spending well over 50 billion dollars a year on this needless process. Why is it needless? Simple. It costs only 118,657 Mexican pesos (about $12,000) a year to have these prisoners attend a technical college in Mexico (4).
Sending Criminals to College Will Save Billions
When we arrest an illegal immigrant we should simply ask if they would like to be sent to prison or to a Mexican College. Hopefully at the end of a few years, these criminals will now have enough technical skills to find decent employment in Mexico and not need to resort to crime to earn a living. In addition, this large boost of billions of dollars to the Mexican educational system should also help employ more teachers, administrative personnel, janitors, food vendors, etc, so that there will less pressure on them to come to the US.
We can do likewise for non-Mexican criminals: offer them fully paid college in their home countries. The good part is that tuition is paid only until they graduate with skills (as opposed to paying $24,000 a year for 20 or more years of their prison sentence).
I wouldn't even mind my tax money paying for non-immigrant urban minorities to go to college instead of prison. If we don't spend the money on education we will spend it on life-long prison housing.
Of course, we could simply legalize drugs and release those on drug charges and immediately reduce our prison population by over 60% (5).
3 Nov 2007, Italy expels Romanians deemed dangerous
ROME - Italy began deporting Romanians with criminal records in response to a streak of violent crime blamed on immigrants, authorities said Saturday. A knife-wielding mob attacked a group of Romanians in Rome.
Authorities in Milan said that four Romanians with criminal records were put on a flight to Bucharest on Friday night, and that deportations for 12 other Romanians had been authorized.
They were the first reported expulsions since Premier Romano Prodi's center-left government approved a decree Wednesday night allowing the deportation of European Union citizens deemed dangerous.
Pressure on authorities to crackdown on immigrants rose after the wife of a top navy commander was beaten to death near a Gypsy camp on Rome's outskirts earlier this week. A young Romanian man who lived in the camp was arrested for the attack.
Romanians have poured into Italy since their country joined the European Union at the start of year, taking jobs as bricklayers, maids and janitors. Romanians number some 560,000 in Italy, or roughly 1 percent of the population.
23 Aug 2007, N.J. takes tough stance on illegal immigrant crime
After a review driven by three brutal slayings, the state attorney general on Wednesday ordered New Jersey law enforcers to notify federal immigration officials whenever someone arrested for an indictable offense or drunken driving is found to be an illegal immigrant.
Attorney General Anne Milgram reviewed the state's policy in light of the execution-style killings Aug. 4 of three Newark college students and the wounding of a fourth victim. One of the six suspects was an illegal immigrant who had been granted bail on child rape and aggravated assault charges without immigration officials being alerted to his existence.
Infoplease, Prison Population Exceeds Two Million
According to a Justice Department report released in July 2003, the U.S. prison population surpassed 2 million for the first time—2,166,260 people were incarcerated in prisons or jails at the end of 2002 (the latest statistics available). Since 1990, the U.S. prison population, already the world's largest, has almost doubled.
College Search, Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico
A 4-year, private college of business and college of engineering. This coed college is located in a very large city in an urban setting and is primarily a residential campus. It offers diploma, bachelor's and master's degrees.
Since 1998, individuals arrested for drug crimes have constituted the largest portion of federal prison admissions, followed closely by those arrested for immigration and weapons-related offenses. Meanwhile, the CRS reports there has been a significant drop off in the number of inmates entering prison for violent or property-related crimes, which only made up about 4 percent and 11 percent of prison admissions in 2010.