Republican Senators push Op. Streamline as Border Security bill appears to contain Streamline support funding

Despite last week’s $600 million border security bill which funds more border patrol agents and federal prisons, several Republican Senators have criticized the measure saying that it doesn’t go far enough to fund Operation Streamline, amongst other hawkish measures.

While the bill doesn’t explicitly fund Operation Streamline, there does appear to be Streamline-related funding tucked into the bill.  According to a US News and World Report (Senate Passes $600 Million Border Security Package, August 12) story,

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Claire McCaskill, will deploy 1,500 enforcement personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border and fund increased intelligence and unmanned surveillance vehicles, or drones, along the border. The measure will give $196 million to the Department of Justice to pay for U.S. attorneys, legal expenses, and a federal prison system for illegal immigrant felons, among other security measures.

The DOJ funding in particular looks like costs that are associated with the massive increase in federal prosecutions and incarceration for petty immigration violations.  That hasn’t stopped prominent Republican Senators, including Arizona’s Jon Kyle and John McCain, from pushing for more funding for Operation Streamline. In fact, fully funding Operation Streamline is part of the Arizona duo’s 10 border security point plan(KVOA.com, April 19, 2010).

Mickey McCarter at Homeland Security Today (I too, was unaware that this informative publication existed) noted last week  (No Timetable for Immigration Reform Effort, August 15) noted DHS Secretary Napolitano’s addressed the Senator’s push in a comments in a White House briefing.

“Operation Streamline has proven effective in some places where it is used.  We use it in some places,” Napolitano said. “It’s very expensive, and there are other methods that we use that are proven equally effective.  And so as you’re trying to make the best use of taxpayer dollars and make sure that they’re targeted where they can do the best — Streamline is one way. Repatriation into the interior of Mexico is another way that has proven very effective.”

Clearly momentum appears to be building for Streamline, despite its costs – both human and financial.  We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments.