Mexico Reacts to U.S. Sentencing Reform Measures

By Kausha Luna on October 26, 2015

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted last week to move the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 to the floor for a vote. This, together with criminal releases announces as a result of the U.S. Sentencing Commission's 2014 amendment to the sentencing guidelines that retroactively reduced sentences for all drug trafficking crimes, has elicited a response in Mexico.

The new guidelines will would result in the release of 6,000 felons at first, with an eventual total of between 40,000 and 46,000. Many of them will be criminal aliens; my colleague Dan Cadman reports that between one-quarter and one-third are believed to be non-citizens, meaning that eventually "between 11,500 and 13,200 serious alien drug offenders will soon be out of lockdown."

Even under this administration, many if not most will be deported. In response, the Congress of the Mexican border state of Baja California has requested the Mexican federal government to prepare for the imminent mass deportation of inmates from the United States. In a proposal directed to all three levels of government (federal, state, and municipal), the state legislature requested coordination mechanisms and protocols be established.

A press release about the move indicates that legislators have requested such measures to be enacted especially in Mexicali and Tijuana; these are the northern border cities which receive the highest number of deported aliens.

Note: This posting has been edited since its original publication.