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‘Practically zero’ AP analysis: Almost no illegal immigrants caught at border are prosecuted

 
HeidiLore
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04/07/2007 12:08 AM
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‘Practically zero’ AP analysis: Almost no illegal immigrants caught at border are prosecuted
EL PASO, Texas - For all the tough talk out of Washington on immigration, illegal immigrants caught along the Mexican border have almost no reason to fear they will be prosecuted.

Ninety-eight percent of those arrested between Oct. 1, 2000, and Sept. 30, 2005, were never prosecuted for illegally entering the country, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data. Those 5.2 million immigrants were simply escorted back across the Rio Grande and turned loose. Many presumably tried to slip into the U.S. again.

The number of immigrants prosecuted annually tripled during that five-year period, to 30,848 in fiscal year 2005, the most recent figures available. But that still represented less than 3 percent of the 1.17 million people arrested that year. The prosecution rate was just under 1 percent in 2001.

The likelihood of an illegal immigrant being prosecuted is "to me, practically zero," said Kathleen Walker, president-elect of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Federal prosecutors along the nation's southern border have come under pressure from politicians and from top officials in the Justice Department to pursue more cases against illegal immigrants.

Prosecuting all would overwhelm system
But few politicians are seriously suggesting the government prosecute everyone caught slipping across the border. With about 1 million immigrants stopped each year, that would overwhelm the nation's prisons, break the Justice Department's budget and paralyze the courts, immigration experts say.

The Justice Department itself says it has higher priorities and too few resources to go after every ordinary illegal immigrant. Instead, the department says it pursues more selective strategies, such as going after immigrant smugglers and immigrants with criminal records.

T.J. Bonner, the union chief for Border Patrol agents, said the most effective solution would be to dry up job opportunities in the U.S. by cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

"The employers are the ones breaking the law," he said, suggesting the creation of an "idiot-proof" system to check the immigration status of workers and the prosecution of any employers who knowingly hire those in this country illegally.

"It's much like our tax laws: People don't pay their taxes out of an overriding sense of citizenship; it's a healthy dose of fear," Bonner said.

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Redheaded Stepchild

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04/07/2007 12:19 AM
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Re: ‘Practically zero’ AP analysis: Almost no illegal immigrants caught at border are prosecuted
HEIDILORE:

They don't prosecute in El Paso. El Paso is special. The Mexicans from Juarez attend school in El Paso. They don't even have to pay property taxes. The schooling is free. It's paid for by others...you know...others. You. Me.

The university pays special attention to the kids from across the border, too. Those kids get to pay the same tuition rates as in-state residents.

Good golly, even the medical care is free...all they have to do is cross the border and show up at the Emergency Room, and they get free care.

It's all subsidized by the American system.

El Paso isn't the only place along the border that experiences this, of course.

EDIT:
Do I sound grouchy? My property taxes went up again this last year.
"Until you are willing to organize your friends and neighbors and literally shut down cities - drive at 5mph through the streets of major cities on the freeway and stop commerce, refuse to show up for work, refuse to borrow and spend more than you make, show up in Washington DC with a million of your neighbors and literally shut down The Capitol you WILL be bent over the table on a daily basis." Karl Denninger

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Anonymous Coward
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04/07/2007 12:19 AM
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Re: ‘Practically zero’ AP analysis: Almost no illegal immigrants caught at border are prosecuted
Farting ki
ashesand sackcloth

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04/07/2007 12:21 AM
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Re: ‘Practically zero’ AP analysis: Almost no illegal immigrants caught at border are prosecuted
Or for anything else in this country. Just let them go is policy it seems.





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