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ABA Journal
June 19, 2018

Immigrants illegally entering the country experience 'rapid-fire justice' in federal courts
By Debra Cassens Weiss

Seventy-four immigrants who entered the country illegally pleaded guilty in groups of seven on a recent Monday in a federal courtroom In Tucson, Arizona, where the New York Times observed their cases. Most of the immigrants experiencing “rapid-fire justice” were sentenced to time served in jail—usually just a few days—and transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Times reports. They will stay in detention until they are deported, unless they file an asylum application that is deemed sufficient for a hearing. The cases of all 74 immigrants were handled within about 90 minutes. Thousands of new defendants are entering the federal court system as a result of the Trump’s administration’s new zero-tolerance policy. The administration is prosecuting people who cross the border illegally, a misdemeanor that was not a priority for the previous administration. The Times cites data from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC. It found nearly 60 percent of federal criminal prosecutions in April were for immigration violations.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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