Immigration Convictions for February 2017
Table 1. Criminal Immigration Convictions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2017 the government reported 4198 new immigration convictions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 16.7 percent over the previous month.
The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted for immigration-related offenses 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).
When monthly 2017 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-16.3%).
Convictions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago.
Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are down 27.4 percent from levels reported in 2012.
Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Immigration Convictions
The decrease from the levels five years ago in immigration convictions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of immigration convictions of this type recorded on a month-to-month
basis. 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.
The superimposed line on the bars plots the six-month moving average so
that natural fluctuations are smoothed out. The one and five-year rates of change in Table 1 and in the sections that follow are all based upon this six-month moving average. To view trends year-by-year rather than month-by-month, see TRAC's annual report series for a broader picture.
Figure 2. Convictions by Investigative Agency
Virtually all federal criminal convictions for immigration offenses in February 2017
(100 percent) were referred by the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS). The two lead investigative agencies in DHS are Customs and Border Protection (CBP) whose border patrol
agencies guard the county's borders, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), responsible for conducting
most immigration criminal investigations
under the immigration laws. See Figure 2.
Immigration Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In February 2017, 2552 defendants
in immigration cases for these matters were
filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. These courts handle less serious
misdemeanor cases, including what are called "petty offenses." In
addition, complaints are sometimes filed in the magistrate courts before
an indictment or information is entered. In these cases, the matter
starts in the magistrate courts and later moves to the district court
where subsequent proceedings take place.
In the magistrate courts in February the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325 involving "Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc.". This was the lead charge
for 70.2 percent of all magistrate convictions in February.
Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "08 USC 1326 - Reentry of deported alien" (29%).
Immigration Convictions in U.S. District Courts
In February 2017, 1646 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during February there
were an additional 0 defendants whose cases moved from the magistrate
courts to the U.S. district courts after an indictment or information
was filed. The sections which follow cover both sets of cases and
therefore cover all matters filed in district court during February.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of immigration matters
filed in U.S. District Court during February 2017.
Table 2. Top Charges for Convictions
"Reentry of deported alien" (Title 8 U.S.C Section 1326) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
"Reentry of deported alien" (Title 8 U.S.C Section 1326) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Bringing in and harboring certain aliens" under Title 8 U.S.C Section 1324.
"Bringing in and harboring certain aliens" under Title 8 U.S.C Section 1324 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd was "Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1546.
"Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1546 was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in convictions — up 200 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 3583
that involves " Term of supervised release after imprisonment ".
This was the same statute that had the largest increase — 200 % — when compared with five years ago.
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in convictions compared to one year ago — down 58.8 percent — was
" Fed Old Age, Survivors & Disab Insur -Penalties " (Title 42 U.S.C Section 408 ).
Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions — 74.5 percent — was
for convictions where the lead charge was " Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 ).
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
Understandably, there is great variation in the number of immigration convictions in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.
The districts registering the
largest number of convictions of this type last month are shown in Table 3.
Table 3. Top 10 Districts
The Southern District of Texas (Houston) — with 360 convictions — was the most active during February 2017.
The Southern District of Texas (Houston) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 for most frequent use five years ago.
The Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd.
The Western District of Texas (San Antonio) was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 for most frequent use five years ago.
District of Arizona is now ranking 3rd.
The District of Arizona was ranked 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 for most frequent use five years ago.
Recent entrants to the top 10 list were
Puerto Rico , now ranked
, and Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit)
In the same order, these districts ranked 14th and 25th one year ago and 11th and 20th five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in immigration convictions compared to one year ago — 138.7 percent — was
Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit).
Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth — 47.3 percent — was
New Mexico .
In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the
largest drop in immigration convictions — 27 percent — was
New Mexico .
But over the past five years,
Southern District of California (San Diego)
showed the largest drop — 55.6 percent.
Top Ranked District Judges
At any one time, there are about 680 federal District Court judges working in the United States. The judges recorded with the largest number of new immigration crime cases resulting in convictions of this type during February 2017 are shown in Table 4.
All 11 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of immigration convictions. (Because of ties, there were a total of 11 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Alia M. Moses in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 1st with 84 convicted in immigration convictions.
Judge Moses appeared in the top ten rankings one year (ranked 3) and five years ago (rank 1).
Judge Robert C. Brack in the District of New Mexico ranked 2nd with 44 convicted in immigration convictions.
Judge Brack appeared in the top ten rankings one year (ranked 1) and five years ago (rank 10).
Judges Diana Saldana in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) and Kathleen Cardone in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 3rd with 41 convicted in immigration convictions.
Report Generated: March 20, 2017