To: President Barack Obama
To: First Lady Michelle Obama
To: Honorable Attorney General Eric Holder
We are writing to you regarding an urgent situation taking place in Tucson, Arizona. Every weekday, Monday through Friday at 1:30 PM Operation Streamline takes place at the Federal Court House. Every day, 70 or so Mexican and Central American men and women are processed, charged, convicted, sentenced and sent to a private for-profit prison, before finally being deported.
We invite you and members of your administration to step inside this operation.
In the courtroom, you will witness a most dehumanizing court procedure: Dozens of brown men and women, inexplicably chained from the ankles, waist and wrists, all waiting to be criminally charged at incredible speeds. You will come to know that prior to this judicial procedure, each person gets but a few minutes of consultation with an attorney, on the same day they see the judge. There is no time for adequate counsel, no deliberation, and no contemplation of justice. The daily proceeding takes about 90 minutes
Operation Streamline is purportedly designed to give non-violent undocumented immigrants criminal jail sentences before they are deported, as a deterrent to keep them from trying to reenter the country in the future. However, we see this as a for-profit operation that criminalizes non-violent migrants, who are only trying to survive and improve the lives of their families.
Last October, 24 people have risked their freedom, taking part in actions of peaceful civil disobedience, in attempts to both shut down this abhorrent program and bring attention to the injustices that take place every day in that court room. Their willingness to risk their freedom comes from understanding the urgency of the situation, and the injustices that are imposed on migrants.
Mr. President, this is why we invite you, your family, and members of administration, including Attorney General Eric Holder. We are convinced that if you witness Operation Streamline, you would be offended by the program, and would know that the right decision is to immediately shut it down.
Thank you for your time,