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Cronkite News
August 2, 2011

Illegal re-entry topped all other charges in country’s federal courts
By Cristina Rayas

WASHINGTON – Illegal re-entry became the most-frequent federal criminal charge in the United States during the first six months of fiscal 2011, a pattern that was mirrored in Arizona during that period. From October through March, federal prosecutors filed 18,552 illegal re-entry cases nationally, more than any other charge, according to data compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. First-time immigration prosecutions edged back into the lead in April, but TRAC attributed that to seasonal fluctuations. It said that illegal re-entry cases this year will be 3.5 percent higher than 2010 if prosecutions continue at the current pace. TRAC said Arizona had 8,968 illegal re-entry cases filed through the end of April. At that pace, it estimated that re-entry cases would be 12.8 percent higher in Arizona than last year and a stunning 214 percent higher than five years ago. The increase in re-entry prosecutions comes as the number of immigration apprehensions is falling. That means the odds of being criminally prosecuted, once caught, have increased, according to TRAC, a nonprofit center based at Syracuse University that analyzes Justice Department data.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2011
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