Operation Streamline: ‘unlike anything in U.S. judicial history’
By Jose Medina Media Coordinator of the ACLU of Texas Update: All three parts of the series are now available: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. This morning National Public Radio aired the first of a series of reports on a federal program underway in federal courts along the U.S. border with Mexico and that the ACLU of Texas has been monitoring: Operation Streamline. The program hasn’t received much public attention, even less public scrutiny, and its successes are highly questionable. Here’s the first report, which aired on today’s Morning Edition. We’ll post a link to the second part when it airs on All Things Considered this afternoon. We’ll let NPR take you through how the program works and why implementation of the program raises serious questions about due process being sacrificed for expediency. What are ACLU of Texas concerns with Operation Streamline?
● The program diverts scarce resources from core law enforcement priorities and community safety, and strains U.S. courts, particularly in the Southwest. Federal judges, prosecutors, and defenders report that the explosion in immigration prosecutions siphons resources from other criminal prosecutions.
● Rather than spending time prosecuting serious crimes, including gun and drug trafficking and organized crime, federal lawyers now spend much of their time on misdemeanor illegal entry cases. Local communities are left to deal with more dangerous crimes that are now routinely referred to state and county officials. Local law enforcement often lacks the finances or authority to prosecute these cases effectively.
● Operation Streamline politicizes prosecutorial decisions and calls into question the priorities and judgment of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and United States Attorneys.