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  Policy and Public Interest Groups
Center for Migration Studies, Journal on Migration and Human Security

Original Article From IIRIRA to Trump: Connecting the Dots to the Current US Immigration Policy Crisis
By Donald Kerwin

Between 1996 and 2013, immigration-related prosecutions — mostly for illegal entries and reentries — increased tenfold (TRAC 2017). Spurred by Operation Streamline, a fast-track criminal prosecution program that operated in multiple border sectors, immigration-related prosecutions soon monopolized the resources of magistrate courts, federal prosecutors, and public defenders in these districts, with the predictable effect of limiting prosecutions for more serious offenses (Lydgate 2009; Kerwin and McCabe 2010). Under Operation Streamline, after entering guilty pleas en masse and serving criminal time, noncitizens are deported. SomeBorder Patrol sectors violated international law by referring asylum seekers for prosecution prior to affording them access to “credible fear” interviews and the asylum process (Kerwin 2015, 218).

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