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Texas Matters: Operation Streamline And Problems With The U.S. Immigration System

For those who lawfully want to enter the United States the first question is about obtaining a visa – but for many getting one is virtually impossible. That is the heart of the problem for the U.S. immigration system according to a report released this week by the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The paper titled “The Inefficient U.S. Immigration System: A Texas Perspective” examines the breakdowns with the U.S. immigration system and recommends state based solutions.

Katherine Fidler is the author of the report.


It was just over ten years ago that Operation Streamline debuted in the U.S. Border Patrol’s Del Rio Sector – it’s since been expanded to all federal district courts along the border except for the southern border of California.

Operation Streamline is a controversial approach to dealing with unauthorized immigrants that channels the apprehended into a criminal court system that has been called an assembly line and a kangaroo court.

The defendants are not given a fair trial or opportunity to defend themselves – that only option is to plead “guilty” – face a one to six month sentence in a special immigration prison and them be deported but now with a criminal record so they could never quality for legal entry or a pathway to citizenship.

The criticisms of Operation Streamline deal with humanitarian and practical issues and are laid out in a new book called “Indefensible: A Decade of Mass Incarceration of Migrants Prosecuted for Crossing the Border.”   Published by Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies – Bethany Carson is on the contributors to the book.

Bethany Carson is with Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies. She is a contributor to their book  “Indefensible: A Decade of Mass Incarceration of Migrants Prosecuted for Crossing the Border.”  Which explores Operation Streamline.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi