Shutdown slowed border prosecutions


Elliot Spagat
Houston Chronicle
Oct. 4, 2013

The top federal prosecutor in San Diego said prosecutions of immigrant and drug smuggling offenses would be fully restored Friday, three days after they were curtailed in response to the federal government shutdown.

Laura Duffy, the U.S. attorney in San Diego, said late Thursday that prosecutions would return to normal after the Justice Department agreed to restore staff.

A U.S. official told The Associated Press that Duffy’s office issued guidelines Monday that immigrant smuggling cases would only be prosecuted if they involved death or serious injury and non-marijuana drug smuggling cases would not be prosecuted if a suspect had a “border crossing card,” which is a visa issued to Mexicans living in border regions to allow short visits. Marijuana cases were not to be prosecuted at all.

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