Edwin Mora, CNS News, March 27, 2011
An illegal alien apprehended by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency during the last fiscal year had an estimated 84 percent chance of never being prosecuted, according to figures compiled by the office of Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas).
Culberson submitted the figures for the record during a hearing Wednesday of the House Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security.
Of 447,731 illegal aliens apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol during fiscal year 2010 (which ended last September), only 73,263 (16.4 percent) were prosecuted, according to the submitted data. That means that 374,468 illegal aliens that were taken into custody (83.6 percent) were never prosecuted.
Describing the situation during the hearing, Culberson said that those who were not prosecuted “had a chance of being home in time for dinner,” after being in custody for a few hours.
He asserted that criminal consequences for those involved in illegal cross-border activity was “the key” to securing the nation’s border with Mexico.
The Texas Republican suggested that Operation Streamline, a program that fast-tracks prosecution and deportations of illegal immigrants crossing the border, should be applied to the entire southwest border.
According to CBP, the operation “targets illegal immigrants apprehended in specific enforcement zones for immediate prosecution for illegal entry. Violators face punishment of up to 180 days in jail. Additionally, deportation procedures are initiated to formally remove the individual once they complete their jail sentence.”