Prosecutions for 2008
Referring Agency: Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during the first eight months of FY 2008 the government reported 11,461 new prosecutions for these matters. Those cases were referred by the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
If this activity continues at the same pace, the annual total of prosecutions
will be 17,192 for this fiscal year. According to the case-by-case information
analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this estimate
is up 10.9% over the past fiscal year when the number of prosecutions totaled
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with offenses are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the
Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States
Attorneys (see Table 1).
The trend in prosecutions for these matters
is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of prosecutions of this type recorded each
fiscal year. Projected figures for the current fiscal year are shown. Each
presidential administration is distinguished by the color of the bars.
Because of organizational changes growing out of 9/11/01, consistent ICE enforcement trends only cover the last three fiscal years. The agency, now a part of the Department of Homeland Security, previously came under the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Figure 1: Criminal Prosecutions over the last 20 years
Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Leading Program Areas
Cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.
The single largest number of prosecutions of these matters through May 2008 was for "Immigration", accounting for 55 percent of prosecutions.
The second largest number of matters were Prosecutions filed under the program area of "Narcotics/Drugs " (28.2%) .
[The Department of Justice is withholding the program area for 5.1% of the cases. These matters are also included in the "Other" category. TRAC, in ongoing litigation, has challenged the government's withholding of program category information, winning a substantial victory in September 2006 decision. The government, however, has filed a notice of appeal which has stayed the order requiring it to release program information.]
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of matters
filed in U.S. District Court during the first eight months of FY 2008.
Note: There were an additional 85 other lead charges which were not individually ranked. See latest monthly report if you
want all lead charges included in rankings for the latest month, or use TRACFED
criminal analyzer tool for complete listing for any year.
Table 2: Top charges filed
"Reentry of deported alien" (Title 8 U.S.C Section 1326) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
Title 8 U.S.C Section 1326 was ranked 1st a year ago
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Drug Abuse Prevention + Control-Prohibited acts A" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 841.
Title 21 U.S.C Section 841 was ranked 2nd a year ago
Ranked 3rd was "Bringing in and harboring certain aliens" under Title 8 U.S.C Section 1324.
Title 8 U.S.C Section 1324 was ranked 4th a year ago
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
projected increase in prosecutions—up 59.6 percent—compared to one year ago was
Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325
that involves "Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc. ".
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
projected decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 46.4 percent—was
"Fraud and related activity - id documents " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1028 ).
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
During FY 2007 the Justice Department said the government obtained 51.8
prosecutions for every one million people in the United States. If pace during the first eight months of FY 2008 continues at the same rate,
prosecutions for one million people in the United States this
year will be 57.4 . Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita
number of prosecutions in each of the nation's ninety-four
federal judicial districts
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per one million people)
The Western District of Texas (San Antonio)—with 416.68 prosecutions as compared with 57.4 prosecutions per one million people in the United States—was the most active through May 2008.
The Western District of Texas (San Antonio) was ranked 2nd a year ago
The Southern District of California (San Diego) ranked 2nd.
The Southern District of California (San Diego) was ranked 1st a year ago
The Southern District of Texas (Houston) now ranks 3rd.
The Southern District of Texas (Houston) was ranked 3rd a year ago
A recent entry to the top 10 list was Eastern District of Texas (Tyler), now ranked 7th. This district ranked 55th one year ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest projected growth in the rate of prosecutions
compared to one year ago—509 percent—was Eastern District of Texas (Tyler).
In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest projected drop in the rate of prosecutions—30.9 percent—was Montana.