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Border & immigration

Study: Border plan 'Streamline' a 'waste' of money

Target cartels, not crossers, Warren Institute says

Border security plan Operation Streamline is a "waste of taxpayer dollars," according to a study by the Warren Institute.

Streamline "forces federal prosecutors to spend their time and resources on people with no criminal history – men and women looking for work in U.S. factories and farms – instead of focusing on the drug cartels responsible for the recent surge in border violence," Joanna Lydgate, review author and fellow with the Warren Institute at the UC Berkeley School of Law, wrote in the Los Angeles Times.

The expansion was announced as part of new a border enforcement effort that Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl announced April 19, the same day Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070, the state's tough new immigration law.

According to the report:

The Tucson district court processes 70 Operation Streamline defendants each day, and while many migrants receive a sentence of time-served, others receive sentences as high as 180 days, making the average detention period approximately 30 days. It costs DHS approximately $100 per day to detain an immigrant, which results in a cost of about $52.5 million per year to detain Operation Streamline defendants in Tucson.

But Byron York, chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner, disagrees that the plan by McCain and Kyl – and Streamline in particular – isn't worth the money, as he wrote in the Salisbury (N.C.) Post.

"Operation Streamline, which sends illegal crossers to jail for 15 to 60 days. When it has been tried selected areas, it has caused the illegal crossing rates to plummet."

TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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