Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing a bill, H.RES.281, supported by seventeen of his colleagues which demands the Obama Administration resume Operation Streamline and the prosecution of first time illegal immigrant border crossers:
“The Obama Administration continues to defy logic, commonsense and the law when it comes to immigration policy. Terminating Operation Streamline as well as other worthwhile border enforcement programs has unilaterally crippled local law enforcement and hindered border enforcement. Rather than securing our border and enforcing the rule of law, this administration has actually encouraged illegal border crossings and recently started a program that will send planes to Central America to pick up illegal immigrants so they don’t have to make the 'dangerous journey'.
“This dereliction of duty completely undermines our legal process and further weakens the trust of the American people. I will not stand for it and will continue to fight until the president reverses these changes and adheres to the rule of law. Once again, I call on President Obama to resume Operation Streamline and end his amnesty ways.”
Following the introduction of today’s House Resolution Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot commented, “I am pleased to see Congressman Gosar and so many other members of the House demand the Obama Administration follow the rule of law and restart this proven and effective program and resume prosecuting criminal illegal aliens who unlawfully cross the border. At one time, Yuma had the worst record in the United States for illegal entries and the associated criminal activity that so often follows. This program has demonstrated itself to be a strong deterrent and I have seen the benefits firsthand. The arbitrary decision by the Department of Justice to terminate this worthwhile program is misguided and negatively impacts Arizonans.”
The full text of H.RES.281 can be found HERE.
Operation Streamline was implemented in 2005 and established zero-tolerance immigration enforcement zones. This pro-enforcement program requires criminal charges and allows for prison sentences as well as formal deportation for first time illegal immigrant border crossers. The program has proven to be quite effective in detouring illegal immigration and is strongly supported by law enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot initially contacted Congressman Gosar informing him that the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona would be diluting the parameters set forth by Operation Streamline (8 U.S.C. §1325) and urged him to question federal authorities about this decision. On August 28, 2014, Congressman Gosar wrote a letter addressed to Attorney General Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Johnson and U.S. Attorney for Arizona John Leonardo raising serious concerns about potential changes to prosecutorial guidelines and Operation Streamline. Congressman Gosar’s letter and the original letter from Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot, can be found in its entirety HERE.
The Department of Justice responded with a weak letter that failed to address the questions raised by Congressman Gosar stating, “It is the Department’s longstanding practice not to provide specific information regarding criminal law enforcement policies of United States Attorney’s offices…” Click HERE to read that response.
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake has introduced a Senate Companion. The text of that bill can be found HERE.
The seventeen original cosponsors that joined Congressman Gosar in introducing this bill include: Trent Franks, David Schweikert, Lamar Smith, Mo Brooks, John Duncan, Scott DesJarlais, Pete Olson, Tom Rice, Tom McClintock, Mike Kelly, Mick Mulvaney, Richard Nugent, Randy Weber, Jeff Duncan, Pete Sessions, Jody Hice and Lou Barletta.
The Gosar bill is endorsed by Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA.
In April, the Congressman and 37 of his colleagues called on the president to immediately terminate his Central American amnesty flight program. Click HERE to read more.