Thursday, January 10, 2019

Federal Judge Argues That Illegal Reentry Prosecutions Not a Good Use of Judicial Resources

From the Washington Post:

A federal judge has spoken out against a sharp increase in Northern Virginia in the prosecution of illegal immigrants for reentering the country after deportation.

“I hope this is not the start of a pattern for this year,” Judge Leonie M. Brinkema said in Alexandria federal court last week, noting that there were six such cases scheduled for the first Friday in January. “I think this is not the best use of judicial or Justice Department resources to keep seeing these types of cases.”

She added that she would like that message to be relayed to U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia G. Zachary Terwilliger.

The defendant before her that morning, Ramon Adrian Ochoa Paz, ended up in federal court after serving time in Prince William County for aggravated sexual battery of a child, a felony. But in federal court, his only alleged crime was coming back into the country after being deported in 2000. And he is something of an outlier; in the majority of the 224 felony reentry after deportation cases filed in the Eastern District last year, the initial arrest involved misdemeanor offenses, most commonly drunken driving. Arrests for misdemeanor assault and public intoxication are also common.



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