Crossing the border was once a matter for civil immigration courts. Now, every day in federal criminal courts along the Southwest border, hundreds of mostly destitute Latino and indigenous Latin American migrants are shackled, charged, convicted and sentenced en masse under the policy called “Operation Streamline.” The program has proven to be a boon for private prisons by funneling tens of thousands of immigrants into federal prisons every year. Through research and advocacy, Grassroots Leadership is fighting for and end to this program.
Last week, the National Catholic Reporter ran an insightful and critical article on the impact of Operation Streamline (“A ‘maddening’ system, from courtrooms to shelters,” July 1st) in Tuscon, Arizona. The article starts with a typical description of the kind of “justice” provided under Streamline: [node:read-more:link]
A newly released report from TRAC shows what this blog has documented since its inception – a massive increase in the use of federal criminal prosecutions for border-crossers in districts along the border. Previous to Operation Streamline, most border-crossers would have been deported, but not criminally prosecuted.
I found this article in the Arizona Daily Star (“Judge asks to delay felony trials,” January 5) to be interesting. It appears that Operation Streamline and an influx of cases in the Tuscon area generally is contributing to a crisis of sorts in the federal judicial system. Here are the highlights: [node:read-more:link]
Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reports immigration case backlogs reached a record 247,922 by mid-June of this year (“Immigration Case Backlog Continues to Grow”, TRAC 2010). The report also shows that these cases wait in the Immigration Courts of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) for an average of 459 days. [node:read-more:link]
Last week, the the GOP announced it’s “Pledge for America” – a campaign tool meant to hark back to the 1994 Contract for America that lead to sweeping Republican mid-term election gains.
The Washington Independent (Elise Foley, “‘Pledge to America’ Plans for Immigration” September 23, 2010) has an interesting look at what the some of the immigration implications of the “Pledge” may be, including how it could affect Operation Streamline: [node:read-more:link]