Following up on California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s suggestion on Monday to build a prison in Mexico, the Sacramento Bee researched the numbers of immigrant inmates. It found that as of Dec. 31, California prisons had 22,173 inmates with an immigration hold or potential immigration hold. That represented 13 percent of the state’s 168,830 inmates. The paper said 15,124 of the 22,173 inmates self-identified as Mexican natives, equal to 68.2 percent. The second-highest country was El Salvador, which had 1,133, or 5.1 percent.
Schwarzenegger’s suggestion drew a response from Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, whose office said in a press release that the governor erroneously implied all illegal immigrant prisoners are from Mexico, a claim that “showed tremendous racial insensitivity.”