Mexican criminals dumped at border: Calderon

Sergio Antonio Mora Cortes, of the Zetas drug cartel and boss of Julian Zapata Espinoza, accused of the murder of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata, is presented to the press at the Mexican Navy headquarters in Mexico City, on Feb. 28, 2011.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon says the United States is responsible for fueling violence in Mexico's border areas, because it chooses to deport criminals, rather than prosecute them.

He said it was cheaper to send them back rather than try them, and that the deportees then became involved with criminal gangs in Mexico.

Read more on GlobalPost: Al Shabaab in Mexico?

The Associated Press reported that U.S. officials this week revealed a record number of deportations in the past fiscal year, adding that those with criminal convictions had nearly doubled since 2008.

Calderon told an immigration conference in Mexico City:

There are many factors in the violence that is being experienced in some Mexican border cities, but one of those is that the American authorities have gotten into the habit of simply deporting 60,000 or 70,000 migrants per year to cities like Ciudad Juarez or Tijuana.

Calderon said that among the deportees were “many who really are criminals”.

The BBC reported that when illegal Mexican immigrants finish a prison term in the U.S. they are taken to the border and freed.

But Mexican nationals with criminal records in the U.S. cannot be held in their home country if they have not broken the law there.