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Huffington Post
January 18, 2018

Under Trump, Asylum-Seekers Increasingly Face Criminal Charges
By Roque Planas

Since the advent of a 2005 program called “Operation Streamline,” immigration prosecutions have grown to swallow up a massive share of the federal criminal docket. Immigration prosecutions consistently accounted for about half of the federal criminal docket during the Obama administration. The number of people prosecuted on illegal entry and re-entry charges has declined steadily since 2013, however. Last fiscal year, which began in October and included Trump’s first eight months in office, federal immigration prosecutions fell 14 percent compared to the year before, according to data compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Those numbers are dropping because illegal crossings themselves have plummeted to the lowest levels seen since the 1970s. A greater share of those who do cross into the United States are people who say they are fleeing the violence-plagued Central American countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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