Rupert Murdoch criticizes Trump's comments on illegal immigrants
21st Century Fox Executive Co-Chairman Rupert Murdoch attends the first day of the annual Allen and Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho on July 8, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake for Reuters.

Media baron Rupert Murdoch took issue on Sunday with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's comments that many illegal immigrants from Mexico are bringing crime to the United States, tweeting: "Trump wrong."

Trump, a billionaire real estate mogul, has generated controversy by saying that U.S. immigration policy has allowed criminals from Mexico and other countries to find sanctuary in the United States.

In his June 16 announcement that he was running for president, Trump said many people crossing from Mexico into the United States were criminals and rapists.

Murdoch, whose media holdings include Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, posted on his Twitter account on Sunday that "Mexican immigrants, as with all immigrants, have much lower crime rates than native born.

"Eg El Paso safest city in U.S. Trump wrong," he added.

Earlier on Sunday, Trump, commenting on the prison escape of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, said in a statement: Corrupt Mexican officials obviously let him go a second time. The last time he was free for 13 years. He has been selling drugs in the U.S. big time – a major kingpin."

Some Republicans distanced themselves on Sunday from Trump's comments on illegal immigrants, saying he had become "a wrecking ball" for the party's ability to win Hispanic voters.

(Reporting by Peter Cooney; Editing by Paul Simao)