But I think Eli Lehrer is right that the state’s dysfunctional political culture is partly to blame. But it’s not just Lehrer’s indictment that correctional reform hasn’t made the progress in California that it has elsewhere; in addition, the state’s coddling of illegal aliens, and general resistance to immigration control, has helped exacerbate the problem.
Obviously, the federal government is complicit because of its longstanding refusal to get serious about enforcing immigration laws. But California’s state and local governments and the state’s delegation in Congress have contributed to this, through sanctuary-city policies, promotion of amnesty, resistance to mandatory E-Verify, in-state tuition for illegals, etc.
But in dealing with the immediate problem of complying with the Supreme Court’s latest ukase, immigration law can be useful. You certainly don’t want to let criminal aliens get off with less punishment than Americans, but in deciding whom to release, it would be better to release a criminal onto the streets of Mexico or El Salvador than the streets of California. And if they come back, they’re then guilty of the federal felony of re-entry after deportation, which means California’s prisons don’t have to deal with him any more (assuming Eric Holder’s Justice Department will prosecute re-entry cases, which can’t be assumed).