By Ted Robbins, NPR
Operation Streamline is an initiative that takes immigrants caught entering the United States illegally and pushes them through the federal courts at unheard of speeds. They are often arraigned, counseled, plead and convicted in a matter of hours.
These illegal immigrants are coming for jobs or to reunite with family — and have no other criminal background. Immigrants in these circumstances used to be returned voluntarily or they went through the normal administrative deportation process. Now, they leave as convicted federal criminals.
The government says Operation Streamline is a success — it’s a deterrent and a needed change from a “catch and release” policy. But its measures of success don’t always hold up. And no one can tell how much it costs.
Part Two of Three