Report: Illegal Aliens Represent Nearly 5 Percent of Texas Prison Population

Texas Prison
AP File Photo/Houston Chronicle, Mayra Beltran

A report from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) shows that the population of illegal aliens in state prisons now stands at nearly 5 percent of the total population.

The Texas prison population houses thousands of illegal aliens, and the new report shows 4.6 percent of the total prison populations are illegal aliens. It also details how many will be deported when they are done serving their sentences.

One of the prerequisites for working in a prison is “keeping count.” Inmates are checked at least two times a day to make sure everyone is accounted for.

The TDCJ report shows that 4.6 percent are illegal aliens, where they are from and why they are there. It sheds new light on the crime problems associated with illegal aliens in Texas.

The latest polling from Pew Research estimates that 6.3 percent of the Lone Star State’s population or about 1.7 million people are illegal aliens. That would mean that illegal aliens are not as well represented among those locked up with the TDCJ, including some on Death Row.

In a report by Nicole Cobler posted Friday in the Texas Tribune, they quote numbers from the latest TDCJ on the current prison population, with special attention to 9,158 under ‘detention orders’ from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). That paperwork says when the sentence is complete, those inmates must be turned over to ICE for processing and possible deportation.

  • There are 21 people on death row with ICE notices on their files. 12 are illegal aliens.
  • 595 immigrant inmates are serving life sentences, and 62 percent, or 370 are illegal aliens.
  • 1260 other illegal aliens are in TDCJ for sentences of more than 21 years.
  • These 1,875 inmates represent 1.3 percent of the entire prison population.
  • Leading crime for incarceration: Sexual abuse of a child, with 1,731 inmates, and just under 1,200 are in this country illegally. Murder ranks second.
  • Mexican nationals are the largest group of inmates, and 78 percent of them are illegal aliens. Honduras and Nicaragua follow in the rankings.

System wide, the report shows that 6,698 inmates in the TDC are illegal aliens or not “unauthorized immigrants” as some media outlets would suggest. Other outlets used the term “undocumented.”

In 2011, the Obama Administration announced plans to deport the most dangerous of criminal aliens, “after” they served their sentences. However, a significant change occurred in the last week, as reported in Breitbart Texas by Lana Shadwick when the Administration’s budget revealed plans to stop reimbursing states, counties, and local government for their costs incurred in incarcerating illegal aliens.

As early as August of 2015, the Texas Sheriffs Association was in Austin decrying the current federal Priority Enforcement Program of allowing what they said was “Free Reign” for illegal aliens across the state.

Houston immigration attorney Alexandre Afanassiev told the Texas Tribunes’ Nicole Cobler, “The DHS typically waits for the person to finish their sentence before removal process is initiated, which explains why so many people with long sentences or life sentences remain on the list of detainers for a long time.”

“While there are mechanisms to have a criminal alien to undergo removal proceedings while in criminal detention,” Afanassiev continued, “they still for the most part end up serving the rest of their sentences before being physically deported.”

This article has been updated with additional information.

Rob Milford is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. You can follow him on Twitter


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