No More Deaths, the humanitarian aid ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson which goes out into the desert to save the lives of immigrants crossing the vast Arizona/Mexico border, is urging their supporters to act now to end” Operation Streamline” and other punitive border enforcement practices. No More Deaths is working with a coalition of local and national partners this week to urge members of Congress to end Operation Streamline and focus on real immigration reform.
Operation Streamline involves a series of Kafka-esque federal court proceedings held daily throughout the southern border states and criminalizes 70 immigrants per day in Tucson alone. A second border crossing results in a felony charge that can lead to up to twenty years in a federal prison. Often, these individuals are simply trying to provide for their families. You can watch a first person account of what the Operation Streamline system is like here.
As the Obama administration sets new records on deportations, an increasing number of individuals who are trying to rejoin family members settled in the United States have become wrapped up in Operation Streamline and other punitive border enforcement measures.
Streamline is also a key component of the administration’s policy of mass incarceration for tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants from all over the country, and part of a series of lucrative contracts with the private, for-profit prison industry. These corporations prey on undocumented immigrants by initiating anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona, Alabama, and many other states–guaranteeing that all their cells remain filled, while costing taxpayers billions of dollars for the unnecessary, long-term incarceration of nonviolent immigrants whose only “crime” is trying to feed their families.
This post was written by Leila Pine, a No More Deaths volunteer and member of the UU Church of Tucson.