Zero Tolerance Prosecution of Illegal Border Crossers

“Children” were also detained by Obama.

A reliable source, who understands Border Patrol procedures and practices, says that “Zero Tolerance” is a great idea that has worked extremely well in the past where it was implemented. The earlier implementation was called “Operation Streamline”. However, he said that the rollout of Trump’s plan was terrible, without proper planning and preparation. It was not adequately explained to the public beforehand, which unfortunately gave the open-borders fanatics a huge opportunity to make propaganda against it. It is standard practice to separate American children from American parents, if necessary, when they commit a crime. Why should it be different for illegal aliens?

Operation Streamline – Wikipedia
Operation Streamline is a joint initiative of the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice in the United States, started in 2005, that adopts a “zero-tolerance” approach to unauthorized border-crossing by engaging in criminal prosecution of those engageing in it.

Trump’s executive order to keep families together will likely result in “catch and release” for those who cross the border with children. This will encourage use of children to cross, putting many more children at risk, not less. It is dangerous for children to make the trek to the border and to cross it illegally. The children may be obtained for the crossing by adults, who are not even related to them. So, who knows what could happen to them during the trip to the border or after the crossing has been made? Catch and release encourages the abuse of children for illegal border crossing. It encourages trafficking of children for illegal purposes.

There is a supreme court decree that limits the time that children may be detained in non-accredited facilities, called the Flores Consent Decree to not more than 20 days. Trump’s executive order can not overrule this Supreme Court ruling. So, if he orders children to be detained with their parents in a jail, the Border Patrol will have to obey the Supreme Court ruling and release the family after a few days. This is “catch and release” for those illegals caught in the possession of children, not matter how they get them.

It is my understanding that children can be detained for longer periods, if the facility is accredited by the appropriate government agency for that purpose. However, the Border Patrol probably does not have access to approved facilities for such large numbers of children.

In addition, many of these illegal border crossers are not children, but unaccompanied young adults. They have to be released, if they have been able to cross the border. In many places they can just walk or hop across the border.

The result is that the Border Patrol is just not allowed to enforce the immigration law under such circumstances due to government red tape. The Border Patrol was never intended to be a child-care center. Wall or not wall, illegal border crossing could be much reduced at little cost, if the Border Patrol were just allowed to do their job as originally intended!

Flores Consent Decree of 1997 [Full Text]

It is a crime to cross the border without inspection by customs. Those who cross illegally can be prosecuted under 8 USC §1325 and 8 USC §1326. First time offender can be prosecuted under 8 USC §1325 for a misdemeanor and multiple offenders can be prosecuted under 8 USC §1326 for a felony.

The illegal aliens are fingerprinted and the record is made in the system. The first time they are caught, crossing illegal, it is misdemeanor, but the second time it is a felony. This provides a huge deterrent to discourage illegals from trying to cross the border multiple times, as so many do.

This is the point of Sessions “Zero Tolerance” policy. If Trump would stick with this policy and make it work, it would be very effective. In the past the illegals caught on the border were not generally charged with a crime and therefore could try to cross multiple times at little, if any, legal risk.

The Border Patrols knows it works, because it has been done in the past when GWB and Obama were in office. Of course, few complained when Obama was doing it.

Unfortunately, it seems Trump has caved, at least partially, in the face of opposition from the open-border extremists.

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