When news came over the weekend that the world’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, escaped from maximum-security prison in Mexico, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was quick to say, “I told you so,” referring to his earlier remarks about immigration.
Conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch, a voice in the GOP and force behind Fox News, was even quicker to put him in his place, tweeting, “Trump wrong.”
While announcing his presidential bid, Trump drew widespread attention saying the U.S. had become a “dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.” He said Mexico has been “sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Guzmán’s prison break only added fuel to Trump’s political fire.
“Corrupt Mexican officials obviously let him go a second time,” he said Sunday in a statement. “This is just one example of the many instances of Mexico taking advantage of the United States. They take our country’s money but leave the tremendous crime, much of which is a result of the rampant drug trafficking.”
“I respect Mexico,” he added. “They can’t help it if our politicians are so incompetent that things like this can continually take place.
“If elected president I will stop this and all other countries from abusing OUR country. I will Make America Great Again — and fast!”
Trump took to Twitter Sunday afternoon to drive his point home.
“Mexico’s biggest drug lord escapes from jail,” he wrote. “Unbelievable corruption and USA is paying the price. I told you so!”
The remarks caught Murdoch’s eye and he came to Mexico’s defense.
“Mexican immigrants, as with all immigrants, have much lower crime rates than native born,” he wrote an hour later. “Trump wrong.”
For instance, Murdoch wrote, El Paso is one of the safest cities.
“So FBI says 267000 illegal aliens incarcerated,” he added. “Who are the other two million presently incarcerated? Seems like social breakdown.”
In the past few years, other government agencies have cited lower numbers. The Government Accountability Office calculated that there were about 249,000 noncitizens in federal and state prison. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reports estimated that there were about 73,600 noncitizens incarcerated.
Authorities said Guzmán used a tunnel to escape Saturday from Mexico’s Altiplano maximum security prison, marking his second prison break. While serving time in Mexico for murder and drug trafficking in 2001, he escaped from the Puente Grande prison in western Jalisco state with help from prison guards. He was captured early last year.
On Sunday, authorities launched a manhunt for Guzmán.
“Now that the Mexican drug lord escaped from prison, everyone is saying that most of the cocaine etc. coming into the U.S. comes over border!” Trump wrote. “But that’s what I’ve been saying. Very unfair treatment by the media!
“The U.S. will invite El Chapo, the Mexican drug lord who just escaped prison, to become a U.S. citizen because our ‘leaders’ can’t say no!”