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January 25, 2017

Data never lies: Take Trump's talk on immigrants, deportation and criminality with a pinch of salt
By Aditya Dhunna

There is a lot of talk in America right now on immigration, borders and crime. But let's look at some statistics to see if these issues really deserve their prominent place in the country’s national discourse. Over the last five years, criminal deportations by US Immigration and Customs enforcement investigations have steadily dropped, down 44 per cent since 2011 according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), citing figures released by the US Justice Department. The TRAC says that in 2016, a total of 12,761 such prosecutions were carried out compared to 21,662 in 2011. It also claims that immigration matters accounted for 53.2 per cent of the total number of prosecutions in 2016. Drug prosecutions accounted for 30.6 per cent. But most recorded cases were of illegal re-entry, illegal smuggling of people into the United States or harbouring them in the country. The crimes, which Obama deported immigrants for, were overwhelmingly non-violent.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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