As debate over a proposed “comprehensive immigration reform” bill intensifies, a bill that would regularize the status of some undocumented immigrants may also include increased funding for harsh border enforcement policies. This debate overlooks the astounding fact that federal spending on immigration enforcement now surpasses all other federal law enforcement activities combined.
Operation Streamline, a little-known enforcement program, is part of broader trend funneling immigrants into the criminal justice system and charging them with felony or misdemeanor crimes for crossing the border. These prosecutions channel billions of dollars to private prison corporations and are fueling the explosive growth in numbers of Latinos in federal prison. Senate and House negotiators are reportedly considering expanding funding of Operation Streamline and criminal prosecutions of immigrants.
1) Tucson, AZ: February 19th, Joint AFSC/No More Deaths Press conference announcing the launch of the End Streamline Campaign; and op-ed targeting McCain, specifically campaign contributions he accepted from GEO and CCA.2) Austin, TX: February 20th, Grassroots Leadership and allies will hold a press Conference and letter delivery at Congressman Lamar Smith’s office calling for end to Operation Streamline and draconian immigration policies.3) Online: The National Private Prison Divestment Campaign will be organizing a petition to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray and other members of the Congressional budget committees to shut down Operation Streamline by advocating for removal of funding for immigrant detention and incarceration in private prisons.