Federal Criminal Prosecutions Referred by DHS Continue to Fall
(15 Jun 2017) The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2017 the government reported 4,434 new criminal prosecutions as a result of referrals from the immigration and customs components of the Department of Homeland Security. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, prosecutions fell 17.5 percent from the previous month, and have dropped 42.9 percent from the levels recorded a year ago during April 2016.

These trends do not as yet reflect the impact of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' April 11, 2017 directive calling for the stepped up use of criminal sanctions in the immigration area.

Criminal prosecutions remain concentrated in the five districts along the nation's southwest border with Mexico. In April, New Mexico was the most active of these five relative to its population size, and the Southern District of California (San Diego) was second. Per capita prosecution rates in these two districts far surpassed those for the Southern District of Texas (Houston) and the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) that had ranked first and second a year ago.

In April immigration-related criminal prosecutions from DHS referrals had fallen to around 42 percent of federal prosecutions of all types. When customs and drug-related DHS referrals were added, DHS accounted for roughly half of all federal criminal prosecutions, down from almost two out of three a year ago.

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In addition, many of TRAC's free query tools - which track new DHS filings, court dispositions, the handling of juvenile cases and much more - have now been updated through April 2017. For an index to the full list of TRAC's immigration tools go to:

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