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Santa Fe New Mexican
November 14, 2013

Immigrant charges spike in New Mexico
By Uriel J. Garcia

Federal prosecutions of immigration offenses jumped 46 percent in New Mexico in the first of 11 months of fiscal year 2013, the fastest growth of any of the nation’s 94 judicial districts, a new report shows. New Mexico’s federal judicial district recorded 5,999 criminal immigration prosecutions through the end of August, the latest data available, according to the report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a nonpartisan center based at Syracuse University that tracks federal government enforcement activities. Reasons for the increase were not immediately clear. Immigration prosecutions across the nation have risen sharply during the Obama administration. But New Mexico had seen declines the previous three years. At the current pace, the center projects the district will have prosecuted an estimated 6,544 cases by the end of the federal fiscal year, which ended September 30 — more than at any time since at least 1986, the earliest numbers available. U.S. Justice Department data for September were not yet available. “It’s not surprising that immigration prosecutions are up,” said Sue Long, a co-author of the report and a statistics professor at Syracuse University. “What was surprising was how different the patterns were …particularly in New Mexico because it had been declining for years and then it shot up.” New Mexico ranked fourth overall in total immigration prosecutions, behind the Southern District of Texas (Houston) with 31,000, the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) with 22,970, and Arizona with 21,000, according to the report.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2013
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