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First-Time Illegal US-Mexico Border Crossers Now Face Federal Criminal Charges

Astrid Galvan - The Associated Press
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July 15, 2017
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Crossing a Dangerous International Border Illegally: You Would Do It Too (Residente Temporal)

Migrants who are caught crossing the border illegally for the first time are now facing criminal charges in federal court in Arizona as the Trump administration steps up efforts to deter illegal immigration.

First-time offenders until recently were deported instead of being criminally prosecuted.

That changed as of June in the Tucson Sector, which includes most of Arizona's border with Mexico and which has already seen the prosecution of 565 first-time offenders, the agency said in a news release on Thursday.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says immigrants are charged with misdemeanors and tried in federal court under Operation Streamline, a 12-year-old initiative in which migrants are charged, enter pleas and are sentenced within a few minutes in large groups.

Critics of Operation Streamline say it burdens the courts and results in migrants going through more dangerous routes to avoid getting caught. The Border Patrol says it decreases recidivism.

Tucson Sector spokesman Daniel Hernandez said the agency is able to go after first-time offenders because fewer border crossers have freed up resources. The program for first-time offenders is already in place in one part of Texas and was previously in effect in Tucson, although it has been several years since it was used.

Read the rest at AZDailySun

Related: Illegal Crossings from Mexico Into US on Rise, Report Reveals (Sputnik News)

Related: Trump Admin Considering Making It Easier for DHS to Expedite Deportations (RT)

Related: First DREAMer Deported Under Trump Files New Evidence, Disputing Government's Account (Death and Taxes)


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