Los Federales Plan Mass Prosecutions Of Illegal Border Crossers

Catch, prosecute, deport

(LA Times) U.S. border authorities, in a significant escalation of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, are planning to introduce a fast-track prosecution program to criminally charge more people who cross the border into California illegally, according to attorneys in San Diego.

Under the program, called Operation Streamline, migrants will be moved through the criminal justice system in group hearings, with cases handled in a matter of hours, from arraignment to sentencing.

Mass prosecutions of up to 100 migrants per day occur in federal districts in Arizona and Texas but would mark a major shift for California’s southern district, based in San Diego, which hasn’t seen expedited judicial proceedings since the border was overrun with illegal immigration decades ago.

Most people who cross illegally into California are not criminally prosecuted, but the numbers would increase substantially under Streamline.

The plans have yet to be finalized, but prosecutors told the committee that they want to charge anywhere from 35 to 100 people per day, including first-time crossers, according to Jeremy Warren, a longtime criminal defense attorney who attended a meeting of the committee Wednesday.

“They want anybody arrested crossing the border to be prosecuted with illegal entry,” Warren said, adding that discussions are still underway on how the court will accommodate the additional cases. Prosecutors want the program to start in one month, he said.

It would probably be easier to simply escort them back across the border, but, there are too many pro-illegal alien folks who will pitch fits over doing that, so, you get the illegals on record, find them guilty, then kick them out (they can actually be charged a small fine under federal law.)

Defense attorneys have long criticized Streamline, saying it sacrifices constitutional due-process protections for speed. With several court appearances combined in one, attorneys have limited time to confer with clients that can be complex, they say.

What’s there to talk about? “Did you come to the U.S. lawfully?” “No.” “OK, bye!”

Essentially, this is all about deterrence, trying to make sure that those who are thinking of coming to the U.S. illegally will reconsider and not jump the border.

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