Events / Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series

Criminal Prosecution Under Operation Streamline

Past Event
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
12:30 PM — 1:30 PM
Vera Institute of Justice

The central tenet of U.S. border security is deterrence, and beginning in the 1990's U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) began the implementation of enhanced consequence delivery systems to increase deterrence. Specifically, the primary border enforcement strategy in the majority of jurisdictions in the southwestern U.S. shifted from civil deportation to criminal prosecution. CBP maintains that the strategy—named Operation Streamline—effectively reduced unauthorized entry by deterring would-be immigrants. Given that research on deterrence theory generally demonstrates that harsher penalties are ineffective at deterring behavior, CBP’s claim is dubious.

In conjunction with researchers at Vera’s Center on Immigration Justice, Dr. Jonathan Allen Kringen and research assistants from the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven studied the issue in detail. The research team conducted an empirical assessment and determine quantitatively that Operation Streamline did not deter unauthorized entry. Given this finding, the research team explored the systemic impacts of Operation Streamline discovering evidence that the strategy fundamentally altered the nature of immigration prosecutions.

Jonathan Allen Kringen is an assistant professor and director of research for the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven. His primary interests include the application of advanced research methodologies, including computational and simulation approaches, to aid in the investigation of difficult to study phenomenon. His substantive interests include immigration, policing, crime analysis, and school safety. His recent work, completed in conjunction with the Center on Immigration and Justice at the Vera Institute, explores the impact of criminal prosecution on unauthorized entry under Operation Streamline. His work has appeared in Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice and Journal of Criminal Justice. He holds PhD and MS degrees in criminal justice from Texas State University and a BA in Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin.