Americans would be better served if the Obama Administration focused on implementing proven border security solutions, like Operation Streamline, rather than devising ways to sue states for passing legislation it disagrees with.

WASHINGTON, D.C. It was reported this week that Justice Department attorneys have been working around the clock to find ways to sue Arizona over its new immigration statute. U.S. Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, expressed frustration that the Justice Department is devoting around the clock resources to devise ways to sue Arizona instead of fulfilling its legal obligation to provide Congress with a report about the expansion of Operation Streamline.

Operation Streamline is a program to prosecute illegal border crossers rather than just releasing them. It has been fully implemented in Del Rio, Texas and Yuma, Arizona, and has dramatically reduced the number of individuals illegally crossing the border in those sectors since its implementation in 2005.

In the Yuma Sector, apprehensions plummeted by 94 percent, from 118,530 in 2006 to just 6,954 in 2009. By comparison, the Tucson Sector, where Operation Streamline has only limited implementation, apprehensions still hover at an alarming rate of 241,673 in 2009.

The results are undeniable, said Kyl. Operation Streamline, when fully implemented, has proven to be an effective deterrent to illegal border crossings and drug and criminal activity. All Americans would be better served if the Obama Administration focused on implementing proven border security solutions, like Operation Streamline, rather than devising ways to sue states for passing legislation it disagrees with.

In January of 2009, Kyl met with Eric Holder to discuss Operation Streamline funding. During the same month, at Holders nomination hearing, Kyl asked what resources were needed to expand Operation Streamline into additional areas of the country, including to the Tucson sector. Kyl has also asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for this information in several Judiciary oversight hearings, meetings, and follow-up phone conversations.

Since Holder never provided the information on DOJ findings, Kyl later included a measure in the 2010 DHS Appropriations bill requiring DOJ and DHS to collaboratively produce a report to Congress on the resources needed to expand Operation Streamline. That report was due in December 2009, but the two departments have failed to meet this deadline.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Justice Department is considering a law suit against Arizona and its lawyers have been studying the law with outside groups. The article also quotes an attorney familiar with the Justice Department activities, who states, [The Justice Department attorneys have] been working around the clock¦. They have a lot of attorneys on it, and theyre taking a really hard look at filing their own lawsuit.   back...
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