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May 14, 2012

Zero Tolerance Border Enforcement Works, But Requires Resources

"[O]n a chilly day in December 2005, this stretch of border became 'ground zero' for a Border Patrol experiment dubbed 'Operation Streamline,' a strategy that transformed immigration enforcement along large swaths of the border. Rather than sending illegal immigrants voluntarily back to their countries or processing them through civil immigration courts, nearly all those caught were funneled into the federal criminal justice system, prosecuted, imprisoned and sent home as convicted criminals," the Houston Chronicle writes.

"Now, the grassy expanse is quiet, save for the soft swoosh of the river, the ducks quacking on the golf course's pond and the flapping of the flag on the fourth hole. Border Patrol officials have expanded the 'zero tolerance' zone to cover all 210 miles of the Del Rio Sector and other stretches of the border in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Yet, the so-called Streamline strategy has become a political flash point in the border security debate, with some immigration hawks, including U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, lobbying to expand it along the entire length of U.S.-Mexico border."

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