Operation Streamline is a highly successful border prosecution operation, is now in effect in four areas along the U.S.-Mexico border, where individuals are now prosecuted and incarcerated for unlawful entry into the United States. Illegal entries are down in these areas, which only makes sense. Simply returning individuals across the border without prosecution indicates that this nation lacks seriousness of purpose when enforcing US laws. Border police have been pleased by the deterrent effect that occurs from simply prosecuting these crimes.
In December 2005, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Del Rio Border Patrol Sector would lead a multi-agency law enforcement initiative called Operation Streamline II that targets those who enter the United States in violation of law. Participating agencies in this operation include CBP Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention and Removal, Federal Pre-trial Services, U.S. Attorney's Office and the U.S. Marshals Service.
"Securing our nation's borders from a potential terrorist threat and from the illegal entry of people, weapons and drugs is absolutely paramount," stated David Aguilar, Chief of CBP's Border Patrol. "Through Operation Streamline II, we are able to target a federal government offensive in the Del Rio area intended to dramatically reduce illegal activity and deter future activity."
Operation Streamline II focuses on aliens who enter illegally through a high-traffic area within the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector. Those illegal aliens who are not released due to humanitarian reasons will face prosecution for illegal entry. The maximum penalty for violation of this law is 180 days incarceration. While the illegal alien is undergoing criminal proceedings, the individual will also be processed for removal from the United States.
"ICE is committed to a seamless partnership with federal, state and local entities to ensure there are consequences for those who violate our nation's immigration laws. We will prioritize our resources to ensure those who enter illegally are removed expeditiously. Operation Streamline recognizes the critical importance of detention and immediate removal as deterrence to future illegal migration," said John P. Torres, Acting Director of Detention and Removal Operations for ICE.
This operation directly supports Secretary Chertoff's Secure Border Initiative (SBI). SBI is a comprehensive plan that will secure America's borders and reduce illegal immigration. This operation will focus initially on high traffic and problematic areas in the Del Rio Sector's area of responsibility but will change, expand or be modified as operationally needed.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.
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