Operation Streamline: Injustice in Action!
Take Action Against Operation Streamline
Tell McCain, Flake, Congress to End Operation Streamline
Senator John McCain: Main: (202) 224-2235; Fax: (202) 228-2862
Senator Jeff Flake: Phone: (202) 224-4521
Your Congressperson (click this link)
Tell them Congress should:
End Operation Streamline and National Days of Action
Operation Streamline is an initiative of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice begun in 2005 with the intention of establishing “zero-tolerance” immigration enforcement zones along the U.S.-Mexico border. Under Operation Streamline, unauthorized migrants face criminal prosecution and potential prison sentences in addition to formal deportation and removal from the United States. Operation Streamline has drastically increased immigration prosecutions, making ‘Illegal Re-entry’ the most-commonly filed federal charge.
Operation Streamline is a Bush Administration program implemented in 2005 ordering federal criminal charges for every
person who crosses the border illegally. In other words, it is a “zero tolerance” border enforcement program that targets
even first time undocumented border-crossers. Instead of routing non-violent individuals caught crossing the border into
civil deportation proceedings, Operation Streamline forces undocumented migrants through the federal criminal justice
system and into U.S. prisons.
Seventy migrants captured by Customs and Border Patrol, or apprehended without papers inside the United States, are sentenced every day for jail and deportation in Tucson, Ariz through Operation Streamline. Within 48 hours, they are rushed past a judge and deported. Some defense lawyers and advocates say Streamline is in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Operation Streamline is a specialized court hearing of mass sentencings that began in 2005 during the George W. Bush administration. In 2011, it cost Tucson an estimated $56 million for legal and security staff alone. ST McNeil and Josh Morgan enlisted the help of graphic artist and University of Arizona assistant professor Lawrence Gipe to illustrate the story of Tucson's jury-less court. Sketched in charcoal, they are the first ever public images of Operation Streamline.
"When I walked into the courtroom, there were three sections of benches, each section with six benches. In front of the benches is a bar, on the other side of that is another bench on which three women sit who are also facing charges. The judge is on her dais facing all these benches, in front of the state of Arizona seal. Lined up in front of her are 12 men, behind them 8 lawyers. All the men are handcuffed, and their cuffs are then chained around their waists. Their feet are shackled. Another 20 men sit, shackled and cuffed, on the benches to the far left. Twenty or so have already been processed before I walked in, so almost 70 people will be going through this process today, with similar numbers most days. Later in the day, Magistrate Bernie Velasco tells our group that his personal best is to handle about 70 cases in 25 minutes, but it can take up to 45."