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Zero Tolerance Program Dramatically Reducing Illegal Immigration

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Zero Tolerance Program Dramatically Reducing Illegal Immigration

Earlier this week, Congressman John Culberson visited the Mexican border to learn more about a zero tolerance program called Operation Streamline. This common sense program is deterring border crossings and dramatically reducing illegal immigration.

"The Del Rio sector is now closed to illegal immigrants thanks to the initiative of local Federal District Judge Alia Ludlum and Border Patrol Chief Randy Hill. In their sector, they are no longer tolerating illegal aliens coming into the United States and they are insisting that the law be enforced.

"The effect has been dramatic. They are arresting, prosecuting, and locking up every illegal alien for six months and then deporting them. Before Operation Streamline began, the Border Patrol arrested about 7000 illegal aliens crossing the border every month from countries other than Mexico. Last month, they arrested only about twenty.

"This proves we can protect the border with existing laws and existing resources. Once word got out that illegal aliens were being prosecuted, illegal crossings plummeted. Law enforcement works and it is protecting our communities and our nation.

"Unfortunately there is a systematic and deliberate refusal to enforce immigration laws along the rest of the border. It's outrageous and I will not rest until our borders are secure and we have zero tolerance from Brownsville to San Diego."

Operation Streamline is a partnership between the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas - Del Rio Division, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the U.S. Marshal's Office, and the ICE Office of Detention and Removal. The Del Rio Sector experienced a 38 percent drop in apprehensions during FY'06, and a further 52 percent reduction in FY '07 so far. The reduction in illegal immigration has allowed the Border Patrol to focus on preventing crossings by terrorists and drug smugglers. Prior to Operation Streamline, many illegal aliens were released into the United States after they were caught.

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