For Immediate Release: OPERATION STREAMLINE ACTION ALERT: "IMMIGRANTS SHOULD NOT BE TRIED BEHIND MILITARY WALLS"
Friday, 14 March 2008
For Immediate Release
March 14, 2008
Contact: Derechos Humanos (520) 770.1373
OPERATION STREAMLINE ACTION ALERT:
“IMMIGRANTS SHOULD NOT BE TRIED BEHIND MILITARY WALLS”
Tucson- La Coalición de Derechos Humanos calls for immediate action to stop the Unites States District Court from transferring the prosecution of migrants under the Arizona Denial Prosecution Initiative, (ADPI) the Tucson Border Patrol Sector’s version of “Operation Streamline,” from the federal courthouse to the detention center located on the Davis Monthan Air Force Base. APDI is an irresponsible, brutal and costly response to the issue of migration, and to now propose to do this behind military walls is contrary to the spirit of public review and accountability.
Since the mid-1990’s, the U. S government has dramatically increased the prosecution of immigrants apprehended in the Tucson Sector for the federal misdemeanor “illegal entry,” the felony “illegal re-entry,” and a few other immigration-related offenses. (Note: this coincided with the implementation of the “prevention through deterrence” policies, i.e. militarization, that has caused the funneling of migrants through
In 2005, a policy of “zero-tolerance” was introduced in the
As had been predicted by Derechos Humanos for several years, on January 14, 2008, the Tucson Sector of the Border Patrol launched the APDI, criminally prosecuting and sentencing more than 40 migrants per day, with individuals receiving criminal convictions and sentences ranging from time-served up to 180 days in CCA. Since then, hundreds of migrants have been “processed” through the U. S. District Court, at a cost that has yet to be determined. An Assistant Federal Public Defender has estimated that the costs for just the defense attorneys for forty people will be a minimum of $10,000 per day, approximately $2.5 million per year.
The Border Patrol’s stated goal is to prosecute and sentence 100 migrants per day, which would represent approximately 10% of those arrested rather than the 1% previous rate. As expected, the costs have soared, a fact conceded by
“It is a very dangerous precedent to permit the criminal justice system to diminish meaningful rights and the court environment for those facing convictions and prison terms. It is equally frightening to limit accessibility to the public to observe and monitor our courts” says Isabel Garcia of Derechos Humanos. “Presently, accessibility is already limited to small areas for the public, and the move would dramatically diminish our ability to witness the most-unknown aspect of the ‘Border Security’/militarization measures—the criminalization of migrants in federal courts.”
Derechos Humanos calls for all allies to call or write to U. S. District Court Judge John
“We cannot allow yet another layer of our rights to be diminished by this action” continued Garcia. “We must stand together to ensure that our government be accountable to our communities, and the human and civil rights of all individuals who go through our court system be respected.”
CALL TO ACTION!
Contact U.S. District Judge John Roll, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and U.S. Representative Raúl Grijalva with the following demands:
- Demand that the Arizona Denial Prosecution Initiative, (ADPI), NOT be moved behind military walls
- Demand an end to the irresponsible policies and strategies that undermine accountability and serve only the interests of CCA, Wackenhut, and other private corporations who are privatizing the militarization of our society
- Demand an end to the criminalization and prosecutions of hard-working men and women who are the targets and survivors of our irresponsible border and economic strategies
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords:
U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva: