Table 1: DHS Immigration and Customs
Criminal Prosecutions, April 2010
The government reported that during April 2010 there were 7,822 new prosecutions referred by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), following 7,090 prosecutions in March. The total of 14,912 is the highest two-month total since September and October of 2008, when the combined figure was 16,127.
In addition, there were 2,119 new criminal prosecutions referred by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April 2010, following a March figure of 2,026. The combined two-month total of 4,145 is the highest recorded since the creation of the agency in 2005. This surpasses previous highs of 3,777 in July and August of 2008 and 3,787 in July and August of 2009.
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged 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).
ICE and CBP are the largest investigative agencies within the Department of Homeland Security. Other key units in DHS include the the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA), Secret Service (SS) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The increase in prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figures 1 and 2. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of prosecutions referred by CBP since October 2005. The superimposed line on the bars plots a two-month moving average so that natural fluctuations are smoothed out.
Similarly, the bars in Figure 2 represent the number of prosecutions referred by ICE since October 2005, and the superimposed line plots the two-month moving average.
Note that in cases where a prosecution was initially filed in U.S. Magistrate Court and then transferred to the U.S. District Court, the magistrate filing date was used since this provides an earlier indicator of actual trends. This improvement in the recording of prosecution filing dates has been incorporated into TRAC's reporting of trends since July 2009.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
The southwest border districts of Arizona, Texas South, Texas West, New Mexico and California South account for 98% of prosecutions referred by CBP. Most of these districts reflect increases on par with national trends, although gains were more modest in the Southern District of California (see Table 2).
Table 2: Top Districts for CBP Prosecution Referrals
In contrast, ICE activity was spread through the U.S. with the southwest border districts accounting for less than half of prosecutions referred by that agency. While the southwest border districts showed a jump of one third, the rest of the nation showed an even larger increase (51%) from the levels seen two months earlier (see Table 3).
Table 3: Top Districts for ICE Prosecution Referrals