Most illegal entrants from Mexico apprehended here are currently allowed to return home voluntarily unless a records check shows they have been detained repeatedly or have a criminal history. Only a small fraction of the illegal crossers are prosecuted.
That catch-and-release system, which has been in place since the early 1970s, created an empty threat to many illegal border crossers, said Robert Boatright, the new deputy chief in the Tucson Sector.
"There has to be a consequence. There is little or no consequence until you go to a Streamline-type process," said Boatright, the right-hand man to Gilbert. "It's going to be a change in paradigm; there are going to be consequences to illegal immigration."
Officials are in the process of meeting with representatives from the U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshals, U.S. Magistrate and Public Defenders Office, among others, to iron out the logistics of implementing the new policy. Officials hope to implement the program it as soon as possible, preferably within the fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, he said.
Border Patrol officials Wednesday did not elaborate on plans in the Tucson Sector, but Andrea Zortman, an agency spokeswoman, said they are evaluating the entire Southwest border to determine which sectors would benefit from the program.
"It sends a message out that if you cross the border you have committed a crime and we are not going to tolerate that," Zortman said. "In essence, it serves as a deterrent."
Maybe somebody needs to forward that idea to our president. He doesn't seem to realize that in order to keep people from crossing into this country illegally, they need to have a reason to stop. Kinda like the alcoholic needs a reason to stop drinking. Read on:
Officials in both the Del Rio and Yuma sectors have reported dramatic decreases in apprehensions since launching the operation.
In Yuma, which implemented it in December 2006, apprehensions decreased by 68 percent in fiscal year 2007, said Jeremy Schappell, Border Patrol Yuma Sector spokesman. Officials there attribute that to additional fencing, lighting, agents and Operation Streamline.
From Oct. 1, 2006, through Sept. 12, 2007, 1,572 illegal entrants were prosecuted under the program, he said. Nearly all illegal border crossers apprehended end up going to a detention facility south of Phoenix where the average stay is 30 days, he said. The only exceptions are humanitarian cases such as parents with children and the elderly, he said.
"Before, they knew if they got caught, they could try again in a few hours," Schappell said. "Now, when we catch them, they don't have that opportunity anymore. They know when they get caught, they are looking at about 30 days. That's 30 days of income they don't have for their families."
In Del Rio, which initiated Streamline in 2005, apprehensions decreased by 38 percent in the first year.
As I've said many times, I AM NOT against immigrants. My ancestors emigrated here from Europe and Canada back in the 1800's. But they did it the RIGHT WAY! And so did all those who passed through Ellis Island. What I am against is people doing it illegally, just to scarf down more of this country's resources (which are being spread thin enough as it is), make more "anchor babies", then take the money they make here and send it to Mexico.
Here's a math problem for ya: If we add 12-20 million more people to the public rolls, and Hillary manages to push through her