May 22, 2013

Turning Migrants into Criminals

The Harmful Impact of US Border Prosecutions

Summary
Recommendations
To the US Congress
To the US Department of Justice and US Attorneys
To US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
To US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
To the US Sentencing Commission
Methodology
I. Background
Illegal Entry and Reentry Crimes
What the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Say
Who is Being Prosecuted for Illegal Entry and Reentry?
Relevant Border Patrol Policies
II. Criminal Prosecutions Fail to Focus on Serious Threats
Increased Prosecution of Unauthorized Immigrants with Minor Criminal Histories
Critical Views of Judges and Attorneys
Rapid-Fire Group Trials: Operation Streamline
Secure Communities and State Immigrant Laws
Diverting Resources from Serious Crimes
III. Criminal Prosecutions Impinge on the Rights to Family Unity and to Seek Asylum
Family Unity
Asylum Seekers
IV. Is It Worth It?
Limited Deterrent Effect
Significant Financial Costs
Due Process Shortcuts
Acknowledgments