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September 12, 2011

Tough Immigration Policies Push Latino Majority Into Federal Prisons
By Jullianne Hing

Today illegal reentry, that is, the crime of entering the country after having already been barred, is the number one lead charge that federal prosecutors bring, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. For the first six months of the 2011 fiscal year, the federal government pursued 18,552 new prosecutions for illegal reentry, a rate thatís 3.5 percent higher than the last fiscal year. Already between 2002 and 2008, prosecutions for first-time illegal entry in district courts that line the border increased 330 percent, due in large part to Operation Streamline, a Bush-era program that mandated that anyone caught crossing the border illegally be prosecuted in federal court, and incarcerated. Illegal reentry is a felony, where first-time illegal entry is considered a misdemeanor. While the sentences people receive vary, the average prison sentence for someone convicted of illegal reentry today is 14 months, according to TRAC.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2011
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