Six people who chained themselves to the fence of the federal courthouse in Tucson in an effort to shut down a deportation process known as Operation Streamline for a day face misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and failure to follow the direction of federal police officers.
Activists who stymied a day’s immigration proceedings in Tucson earlier this month by chaining themselves to a detainee transport bus have announced the first step in their legal defense: a pair of hotline numbers.
Courts in the Southwest are pushed to their limits to handle all the immigration cases that come their way now — and that could get a lot worse with plans to add Border Patrol agents as part of immigration reform.
The Senate, under the leadership of the Gang of Eight, last month passed comprehensive immigration reform following years of hope for reform from the millions of undocumented residents in the United States.
Criminal cases can wind through the court system for years. But through the aptly named "Operation Streamline," more than 70,000 illegal immigrants over the past five years have met with their attorneys in Tucson, heard the charges against them, accepted a plea and been sentenced by a judge …