by Krista Lee
I have attended Operation Streamline twice since I have been in Tucson and it is a human rights atrocity that everyone has to learn about. It is a huge human rights issue that is horrifying in every sense of the word. NO MORE DEPORTATIONS/NO MORE BORDERS/NO MORE CRIMINALIZATION OF IMMIGRANTS.
“Operation Streamline began in Del Rio, Texas in 2005 and now operates in 7 border cities. The story of Streamline starts when Border Patrol agents apprehend people crossing the border in TX, NM, & AZ. U.S. Border Patrol places everyone they detain into short term deterntion facilities. Migrants can expect poor treatment while in custody including lack of food, water, and medical care, as well as verbal and physical abuses. Some people are foced to sign forms in English that they don’t understand and are sent back to Mexico and other countires, while others are selcted to be prosecuted in federal court in Operation Streamline. Several private prison, detention, and transportation companies profit from contracts for Operation Streamline. Many of these companies run immigrant prisons all over the world. The court proceedings convicts up to 70 people in under 2 hours. Although lawyers are contacted to represent migrants, they have less than 20 minutes to get to know their clients before appearing before a judge. All migrants are expected to plead guilty to “illegal entry” which goes onto a permanent criminal record. Judges sentence people to prison terms up to six months long. Money and belongings are often taken and not returned. While in prison, people have limited contact with family, friends, or lawyers. Despite long histories of human rights abuses and substandard conditions, private prison companies receive millions of taxpayer dollars for incarcerating immigrants through Streamline. Many investigative reports have exposed the links between these companies and an increase in immigrant detainees. Programs like Secure Companies and laws like Arizona’s SB 1070 ensure this corruption continues. After completeing the prison sentences, migrants are deported. Now that they have a federal criminal record, they may not be eligible for any “path to citizenship” in the proposed immigration reform bills. Homeland Security promotes Operation Streamline as a necessary way to make the border more secure. *Streamline does not make the borders any safer, not does it address any of the root causes that pompt people to cross the border.* Instead, Streamline guarantees hefty profits for prison owners while also forcing thousands through the federal court system.”
“A coalition of groups from across the southern U.S. border is demanding an end to Operation Streamline.”
Check out http://www.endoperationstreamline.org
*From a handout produced by the Gloo Factory
Make sure to watch this 2 minute Youtube video!!!