In the midst of a media feeding frenzy over the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys, a Justice Department memo was released detailing how the department handles illegal border crossers. The memo specifically applies to two Texas border districts, San Antonio and Houseton, and one in California, San Diego.
The Justice Department guidelines for prosecuting people who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are:
- TEXAS (Houston or San Antonio): Prosecutes for illegal entry after six to eight apprehensions by the Border Patrol. Exceptions are made for people with criminal convictions in the U.S.
- TEXAS (Houston or San Antonio): Prosecutes after seven failed attempts. Exceptions are made for anyone with criminal convictions in the U.S. and other circumstances, such as resisting arrest or behaving aggressively.
- CALIFORNIA (San Diego): Does not prosecute "purely economic migrants" as a general rule and does not use the number of apprehensions as a guide. Focuses on people with "substantial criminal histories."