This is likely an unintended consequence of the Democrats’ fishing expedition. I doubt they really wanted this information to get out given their pro-amnesty stance. The information also indicates a good reason why several of the 8 attorneys deserved to be fired.
It is obvious that we need to streamline the visa process and make it easier for people who desire to become citizens to enter the country. It is also not an unreasonable expectation that immigration law be enforced and identity theft that goes along with illegal immigration be addressed. Clearly, that is not the case.
Excerpt from FoxNews:
Guidelines issued by U.S. attorneys in Texas showed that most illegal immigrants crossing into the state had to be arrested at least six times before federal authorities would prosecute them, according to an internal Justice Department memo.
The disclosure provides a rare view of how federal authorities attempt to curb illegal immigration. The memo was released this week in response to a congressional investigation of the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys.
The Border Patrol makes more than 1 million arrests a year on the U.S.-Mexico border. T.J. Bonner, head of a union representing Border Patrol agents, said it’s unrealistic to prosecute all violators.
“Let’s be honest, there isn’t enough jail space to incarcerate everyone who crosses that border,” said Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council. “If everyone demanded hearing in front of an immigration judge, it would bring our system to a grinding halt in a matter of days.”
It is unclear when the memo was written, but the Justice Department reviewed the guidelines sometime after a February 2005 performance review of Carol Lam, the top federal prosecutor in San Diego from 2002 until she was fired last month. Some Republican lawmakers had complained that Lam failed to aggressively prosecute immigration violations.
Excerpt from the Houston Chronicle:
The prosecution guidelines have been a source of frustration for years among the ranks of U.S. 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.
“It’s devastating on morale,” Bonner said. “Our agents are risking their lives out there, and then they’re told, ‘Sorry, that doesn’t meet the criteria.’ ”
The memo was written in response to DOJ inquiries at five U.S. attorney offices, including Houston, about immigration prosecutions. The others — San Antonio, San Diego, Phoenix and Albuquerque — cover the 2,000-mile border.
In a statement, DOJ spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the agency sent 30 prosecutors to districts along the Southwest border in 2006. The added manpower “will permit districts to adjust their guidelines and take in more cases,” according to the statement.