Acknowledging “unacceptable” flaws in the U.S. system for apprehending international fugitives, Attorney General Eric Holder said yesterday that the federal government needs to coordinate more closely with state and local law enforcement agencies after suspects flee across U.S. borders, the Chicago Tribune reports. Under questioning by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Il.), Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee that “we probably have to do a better job in interacting with our Mexican counterparts” to capture those fugitives.
The Tribune last week reported growing numbers of felony suspects fleeing to countries like Mexico, India, and South Korea and detailed the failures of law enforcement to bring them back to the U,S. Authorities often are able to pin down fugitives’ locations abroad quickly, but government records on 129 border-crossing fugitives from northern Illinois show an astonishing lack of coordination among Justice Department officials, county prosecutors, and local police on the U.S. side of the border; a failure by those agencies to keep track of their mounting caseloads; and years-long delays that allow many fugitives to remain free.