Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 17, 2013

Operation Streamline: Corporate profiteering from migrant misery

Remembering migrants who died crossing
the Sonoran Desert, at San Xavier
on Tohono O'odham land.
Photo Brenda Norrell

Operation Streamline Does Not Belong in Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Or in Southern Arizona Communities

Matthew Lowen 
Sarah Launius 
(No More Deaths),
Censored News

On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, the End Streamline Coalition will hold apress conference in front of the Evo A. DeConcini Federal Courthouse at 12:30pm.  The Coalition will announce local and national days of action (February 19-21) to call for an end to the federal district court program known as Operation Streamline. 

Every day as part of Operation Streamline, at least 70 migrant men and women are collectively processed and given criminal sentences prior to their deportation.  Most, if not all of these migrants are sent to private prisons where companies profit handsomely from their incarceration. In 2011, contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) accounted for 20 and 14 percent of revenue for CCA and GEO Group, respectively.

As discussion of Comprehensive Immigration Reform mounts in Congress, Senator McCain and the “gang of eight” have proposed an expansion of Operation Streamline and other federal felony prosecutions of people crossing the Mexican border looking for work or to reunite with family.

For many who have witnessed a Streamline hearing, the mere image of men and women shackled at the wrist, belly, and ankles being collectively herded through the legal process is enough to shock the conscience. Streamline raises serious and troubling questions about constitutionally protected due process, the growth of private prisons, the deepening criminalization of migrants and the exploding costs of contemporary immigration enforcement.

Press conference speakers will include Marcelo Ruiz, Isabel Garcia (Derechos Humanos), Caroline Isaacs (AFSC), Andy Silverman, and community faith leaders.  They will be accompanied by their supporters and a street theater performance.

The End Streamline Coalition is joining national organizations such as Grassroots Leadership, Justice Strategies, American Friends Service Committee, and the American Civil Liberties Union who will be participating in national Days of Action across the country in anticipation of the February 22 hearing in WashingtonD.C. on Operation Streamline and its possible expansion.

Here in the borderlands of Southern Arizona, the End Streamline Coalition demands an end to Operation Streamline and the system of migrant criminalization it reprsents.

Sponsored by:  End Streamline Coalition, No More Deaths, Samaritans of Tucson, Derechos Humanos, American Friends Service Committee of Arizona, Community of Christ of the Desert, St. Francis in the Foothills UMC, Unitarian Universalist Church of Phoenix, Arizona Immigration Ministry, UUCT Immigrant Rights Working Group, Tucson Solidarity Organizing Network, The Restoration Project at Casa Mariposa, Maricopa Branch of the NAACP. 

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