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Zero Tolerance Lives On - Julia Preston

September 17, 2018 (1 min read)

Julia Preston, The Marshall Project, Sept. 14, 2018 - "... At an office in McAllen that buzzes 24 hours a day, Border Patrol agents and lawyers labor through the night churning out stacks of documents to charge dozens of migrants, who often are taken to federal court directly from frontline patrol stations.  At 6.45 a.m. each weekday, emails go out to prosecutors and federal defenders with the long rosters of defendants for court that day. At the same hour, buses with bars on the windows pull up behind the McAllen courthouse. Migrants stumble out, struggling to negotiate steps with their ankles chained and their belts and shoelaces removed.  During four days of hearings in August, everyone at the court, from the judges on down, seemed to be working under the torrent of cases to do their jobs, preserving some basics of due process.  Every public defender—there are currently 18 lawyers in the McAllen office—goes to the courthouse in the early morning to meet with the defendants before their hearing. ... "