Feds Plan Mass Prosecution of Illegal Border-Crossing Cases in San Diego, Attorneys Say

Border Patrol agents search the Rio Grande River for migrants illegally crossing the border from Mexico into the United States on March 26, 2018, near McAllen, Texas. (Credit: Loren Elliott / AFP / Getty Images)

Border Patrol agents search the Rio Grande River for migrants illegally crossing the border from Mexico into the United States on March 26, 2018, near McAllen, Texas. (Credit: Loren Elliott / AFP / Getty Images)

U.S. border authorities, in a significant escalation of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, are planning to introduce a fast-track prosecution program to criminally charge more people who cross the border into California illegally, according to attorneys in San Diego.

Under the program, called Operation Streamline, migrants will be moved through the criminal justice system in group hearings, with cases handled in a matter of hours, from arraignment to sentencing.

Mass prosecutions of up to 100 migrants per day occur in federal districts in Arizona and Texas but would mark a major shift for California’s southern district, based in San Diego, which hasn’t seen expedited judicial proceedings since the border was overrun with illegal immigration decades ago.

Most people who cross illegally into California are not criminally prosecuted, but the numbers would increase substantially under Streamline.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.