Since the mid-1990s, federal dollars have flowed to the Immigration and Naturalization Service in an effort to strengthen the country’s borders. Thanks to this largesse, the U.S. Border Patrol in Texas has increased its staff along the border and implemented cutting-edge technology to curb illegal immigration.

This initiative has achieved its goals — in recent years, INS has stopped more aliens trying to cross into Texas illegally — but it has also wreaked havoc on the federal courts forced to process more criminal prosecutions against immigrants. Immigrant defendants, in turn, are being short-changed by a criminal justice system that often does not afford them counsel and individual attention, say Texas immigration lawyers.

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