Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings
June 2017

Hitting the wall: On immigration, campaign promises clash with policy realities
By John J. Hudak, Elaine C. Kamarck, and Christine Stenglein


The other prevalent theme in President Trumpís campaign was his assertion that unauthorized immigrants committed so many crimes that they posed a public safety threat. He often held campaign events showcasing the families of people who had been murdered by unauthorized immigrants and asserted that criminals here illegally were regularly released back into their communities to commit crimes. The reality of immigration enforcement is quite different. In the year 2016, of the approximately 117,000 immigrants who went through deportation proceedings in immigration courts and were permitted to stay in the U.S., only 6,640 had a criminal chargeóabout 5.6 percent. Across all the immigration proceedings conducted last year, only 1.97 percent of the defendants were charged with an aggravated felony. Furthermore, according to DHS statistics, a very large portion of those removed were, in fact, removed for criminal activity, as the table below shows. More than half of those deported in every year from 2010 forward had committed some sort of crime.....[Citing TRAC research].


Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2017
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