For Illegals, No More Mr. Nice Border Patrol

'Consequence delivery system' won't just turn border crossers around

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 17, 2012 7:27 AM CST

(Newser) – Up until recently, if you were caught crossing the border illegally into Douglas, Ariz., Border Patrol would give you a sandwich and some orange juice—and drive you right back to Mexico. Not anymore. The US Border Patrol is changing its policy, instituting a new "Consequence Delivery System" that will dictate the handling of illegal immigrants, and almost none will be turned politely around and sent on their way, the AP reports.

The system breaks border crossers into categories ranging from children or the medically ill, who likely will still get a free pass, to people with criminal records, who could face felony prosecution. Others might be handed over to Mexican authorities for prosecution, or simply sent to distant Mexican cities, far from the smugglers who helped them cross the border the first time. The new consequences are more expensive, but make it harder for migrants to turn around and try again; under the old rules, one Douglas agent says he once caught the same crosser 10 times in an eight-hour shift.

A Border Patrol agent works in front of a color-coded chart at a detention center Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, in Imperial Beach, Calif.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A Border Patrol agent passes a color-coded chart at a detention center Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, in Imperial Beach, Calif.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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