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February 21, 2019

What Emergency? Immigration and Drug Crimes Way Down Along the Border.
By David Cay Johnston

Nationwide immigration prosecutions fell 22% in December to 11,390 cases. The five prosecutorial districts that border Mexico did account for about 96% of all illegal immigration criminal cases last year. But the numbers are so small along our Southern border that an emergency exists only in Trumpís increasingly erratic mind. To put this in perspective, almost two-thirds of all federal prosecutions under Trump are for immigration law violations. Offenses such as bribery, corruption and selling out our country to foreign interests are exceedingly rare. We get these official numbers via Syracuse Universityís Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse or TRAC. Raw data from a host of federal agencies are gathered by Professor Susan Long and her co-director, David Burnham, whose New York Times exposes of pervasive New York Police Department corruption inspired the 1973 film, Serpico. (Disclosure: I teach pre-law students at Syracuse University College of Law and have no connection to TRAC, which is run out of another school at the university.) Surprisingly, given how much Trump rails about drug smuggling from Mexico, prosecutions for illegal drug offenses are a minor, and declining, federal activity on his watch. Just 90 federal drug cases of all types were filed in the Southern District of Texas in December, down from 132 the month before. Nationwide only 1,282 federal drug cases were filed.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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