Enforcing immigration laws works

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Along the Del Rio sector of Texas's border with Mexico, the Customs & Border Patrol is actually prosecuting illegals who immigrate for economic reasons, and they're finding it makes it easier to spot and deal with those who immigrate for nefarious purposes. According to Chief Agent Randy Hill:

“Our number one priority is protecting our border from terrorists, then criminal aliens, and third drug interdiction. What Operation Streamline has done is removed the ‘clutter’ of economic refugees from our primary mission. When we relieve ourselves of dealing with a large influx of economic refugees, it allows us to concentrate on border security priorities,” he said.

“Economic refugees” in the Del Rio sector are mostly Mexican and “Other Than Mexican” or OTMs, illegally entering the country looking for better paying jobs and opportunity. The CBP uses the term “economic refugee” to differentiate between a unarmed, non-dangerous illegal alien and what they call a “criminal alien,” or an illegal alien with a criminal rap sheet in the U.S. or some other country. Operation Streamline has reduced the flow of economic refugees to almost a trickle. Apprehensions for the Eagle Pass area of the sector are down a whopping 77 percent this fiscal year. Across the sector, apprehensions are down 61 percent this year.

Illegal entry comes with a sentence of two to four weeks in jail, followed by deportation. Re-entry after deportation is a felony and could bring a sentence of up to two years. Those arrested are fingerprinted, and a background check is done. They appear before a Federal judge within three days of arrest.

You're probably wondering what I was wondering -- you mean that wasn't already being done? Here's the typical sequence of events prior to Operation Streamline:

  1. Apprehension in the field.
  2. In-process at CBP field office.
  3. Suspect given a future court date for removal purposes and the defendant signs a promise to appear. Defendant released on own recognizance into the U.S. if OTM. Most Mexican nationals were transported and released in Mexico. Most OTM defendants were never seen again.
  4. Prosecution was reserved for violent offenders, gang members, suspected narcotics smugglers, and those with a history of repeated immigration offenses.

(Via MamaAJ in the comments at Hot Air.)

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Mike said:

And Ramos and Compeon continue to languish in jail. God willing, though, perhaps not much longer. With a coalition of Di-Fi and Cornyn applying pressure, their release may be imminent.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 17, 2007 5:47 PM.

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