California, long a holdout, adopts mass immigration trials
SAN DIEGO (AP) - California will introduce group trials on Monday for people charged with entering the country illegally.
Federal prosecutors in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico have long embraced these hearings, which critics call assembly-line justice. California was a lone holdout, and the Justice Department didn't seriously challenge its position until the arrival of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The number of misdemeanor illegal entry cases has gone from zero to hundreds a month in California since May. Those numbers pale when compared to other border districts that have been doing mass hearings for years. But the spike has already caused strains on the California court system.
The caseload is so heavy that jail space is becoming scarce, and court often runs beyond business hours. It once ran until 10 p.m.
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