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November 30, 2016

Federal Cases Against Immigration Violators Drop 15% in Five Years
By Brittany M. Hughes

Federal prosecutions for immigration violations have declined by 15 percent over the past five years, new data from the U.S. Department of Justice recently revealed. A new report compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University shows that immigration violations comprised a stunning 52 percent of all federal prosecutions in FY 2016, easily beating out total prosecutions for drugs, weapons, fraud, or any other federal charge. However, despite the fact that the feds prosecuted 69,636 aliens for immigration violations last year (a shockingly low number, considering there are an estimated 12 million illegal aliens living in the U.S.), that number is down significantly from the 82,250 immigration-related prosecutions the feds reported back in FY 2011. TRAC, who had to sue the DOJ to obtain these records, noted that while the overall number of federal immigration cases has been on the decline for the past several years, immigration violations now comprise a much higher percentage of all federal prosecutions than they used to, particularly when you trace the trend back to the 90s: Prosecutions over the past year are still much higher than they were ten years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are up 85.6 percent from the level of 37,529 reported in 2006 and up 823 percent from the level of 7,543 reported in 1996.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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