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CBS News
July 15, 2014

Defendants Charged With Illegal Re-Entry Face Light Prison Sentences
By Jack Fink

Since October of 2013, records from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University (TRAC) show the number of people in the U.S. prosecuted by the federal government for illegal re-entry has surged to nearly 20,000. But statistics from TRAC also show many of those people are not being convicted of that same charge. Records show between October, 2012 and March, 2014, 49 percent of the defendants charged with illegal re-entry, a felony, were actually allowed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of illegal entry, which carries a penalty of only up to six months in prison. But thatís not happening in Texas. But in Arizona nearly nine out of ten defendants have plead to the lower charge. According to TRAC, the most cases involving immigration crimes are along the Southwest border in Arizona, the Southern District of California, New Mexico, the Southern District of Texas and the Western District of Texas. In the Western District of Texas, 5,991 or 98 percent of defendants were prosecuted for and convicted of illegal re-entry between October, 2012 and March, 2014.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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