Reuters is reporting over 130 inmates from a Mexican prison busted out and are now on the border that Mexico shares with the United States. The jailbreak is considered to be the one of the worst in Mexico’s recent history:
Homero Ramos, attorney general of the northern state of Coahuila, said 132 inmates of the prison in the city of Piedras Negras had got out through the tunnel in an old carpentry workshop, then cut the wire surrounding the complex.
Corrupt prison officials may have helped the inmates escape, said Jorge Luis Moran, chief of public security in Coahuila, adding that U.S. authorities had been alerted to help capture the fugitives if they try to cross the border.
The jailbreak is a reminder of the challenges that await Enrique Pena Nieto, the incoming president, who has pledged to reduce crime in the country after six years of increased gang-related violence under President Felipe Calderon.
Many of Mexico’s prisons are overcrowded and struggle to counter the influence of criminal gangs that can use their financial muscle to corrupt those in charge.
Ramos said that the state government of Coahuila was offering a reward of 200,000 pesos ($15,700) for information leading to the capture of each fugitive.
The Piedras Negras complex housed a total of 734 inmates, and the tunnel through which the prisoners escaped was about 1.2 meters (four feet) wide, 2.9 meters (9-1/2 feet) deep and seven meters (23 feet) long, Ramos said.
This news comes on the heels of ten ICE agents who are currently suing the Department of Homeland Security over a directive, similar to the Democrats’ DREAM Act that could not be passed on Capitol Hill, that was issued by President Barack Obama. The directive would allow some sons and daughters of illegal immigrants, who were brought to the U.S. when they were under 16 years of age, to have their immigration cases deferred. The Dallas Observer reported:
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano countered that the policy grants undocumented immigrants a deferral, not lawful immigration status. Nevertheless, the ICE agents claim it violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, though the law does give immigration officials the ability to use discretion.
Chris Crane, one of the plaintiffs, is also the president of the National ICE Council, the union representing agents. The union issued a vote of no confidence in ICE director John Morton in 2010, protesting a policy that would focus enforcement and removal operations on criminal aliens. The union’s rank and file has a history of bucking edicts from agency leadership, and some agents now claim they have been disciplined for issuing notices to appear before an immigration judge to noncriminal immigrants.
ICE brass say they are simply using their finite resources prudently. The lawsuit asks a federal judge to strike the directive.
In a June Water Cooler post Crain joined Senator Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, and talked about DHS’s pattern of allowing illegal alien criminals to be released into the public after violent crimes had been committed. At a press conference Crain said:
“When ICE arrested the individual for immigration violations, he attempted to escape, another criminal offense, one agent was injured in the incident claiming the injuries were intentionally inflicted by the escapee, another criminal offense, of course assault of a federal agent, so in this case we have four possible criminal charges-two involving violence, one injured family member and one injured officer. Without any questioning—without any investigation, the alien was released as a dreamer. No criminal charges, no immigration charges, no nothing.”
“‘He’s a dreamer. Release him.’ Incidents like this happening around the nation lead us to believe that the new policies will be ineffective in terms of providing for public safety.”
According to a press release sent out by the National ICE Council:
While the criminal alien was released without charge, agents were questioned before medical treatment was even administered and may face disciplinary charges from ICE regarding the escape. One agent is medically restricted from duty for at least two weeks due to injuries sustained during the incident.
Reuters is saying that experts are predicting an uptick in criminal activity in northern Mexico as cartels will fight over drug smuggling routes nearby.