As reported in the paper of record:

Prior to the program, illegal immigrants from Mexico who did not have a criminal history were returned to their home country almost immediately, without jail time or a formal deportation order. Apprehended illegal immigrants identified as “other than Mexican,” or OTMs, were given notices to appear at a future deportation hearing. The notices were referred to by the U.S. Border Patrol as “notices to disappear,” since only about 13 percent ever showed up.

On average, about half of those caught at the Southwest border are Mexican nationals. Currently, they face formal deportation procedures only in those limited areas covered by Operation Streamline or if they have been identified as convicted criminals.

Ms. Fobbs said that during fiscal 2007, a total of 136,712 Mexican nationals were returned home — 67,793 of whom were identified as criminal illegals.

Despite the praise it has received from members of Congress, Operation Streamline is not without its drawbacks and its future expansion is in doubt without a significant increase in federal funding.

The U.S. Marshals Service, which is responsible for returning illegal immigrants to their countries of origin, is strapped for both resources and manpower to conduct the program. The Justice Department, asked to prosecute the newly charged illegals, lacks the manpower to get the job done.

Congress appropriated $22 million to hire additional prosecutors, support staff and deputy U.S. marshals, and the administration is seeking $100 million for the Southwest Border Enforcement Initiative — to hire additional people to support the increased prosecutions.

Question: If we can spend billions a month in Iraq, why can’t we spend a few million to secure our southern border?