6 Arrests Necessary For Prosecuting Illegal Border Crossers


Documents released in the controversy over eight fired U.S. attorneys show that federal prosecutors in Texas declined to bring criminal charges against illegal immigrants caught crossing the border until at least their sixth arrest, the Houston Chronicle reports. A heavily redacted Department of Justice memo from late 2005 disclosed the prosecution guidelines for immigration offenses, numbers the federal government tries to keep classified. Officials would not say whether the numbers have been adjusted since the memo was written, citing “law enforcement reasons.”

The prosecution guidelines have been a source of frustration for years among Border Patrol agents, said T. J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council. Smugglers can figure out the criteria by trial and error, he said, and can exploit it to avoid prosecution. Justice spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the agency sent 30 prosecutors to districts along the Southwest border in 2006. He said the added manpower “will permit districts to adjust their guidelines and take in more cases.”

Link: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4654936.html

Comments are closed.