Pew Research: Trump Prosecutes Illegals at Highest Rate in Two Decades

Men wearing neon-colored jail clothes signifying immigration detainees walk to pick up their lunches at the Theo Lacy Facility, a county jail which houses convicted criminals as well as immigration detainees, March 14, 2017 in Orange, California, about 32 miles (52km) southeast of Los Angeles. US President Donald Trumps first …
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty

President Trump’s administration prosecuted illegal aliens in Fiscal Year 2018 at the highest rate in at least two decades, analysis of federal records finds.

Analysis of Department of Justice (DOJ) records by Pew Research Center reveals that the Trump administration, between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018, prosecuted more accused immigration law-breakers than any time since 1998.

In Fiscal Year 2017, federal officials criminally prosecuted less than 60,000 individuals for immigration crimes. Compare that to Fiscal Year 2018 when nearly 100,000 individuals were prosecuted for immigration crimes, a year-to-year increase of 66 percent.

(Screenshot via Pew Research Center)

(Screenshot via Pew Research Center)

The number of suspects arrested for immigration crimes also increased significantly from 2017 to 2018. For example, about 58,000 individuals were arrested for immigration crimes in Fiscal Year 2017 compared to nearly 109,000 individuals arrested in Fiscal Year 2018 — an 87 percent increase.

This level of prosecutions and arrests of individuals suspected of violating national immigration law is the highest since at least 1998.

The Pew Research analysis finds that the increase in arrests and prosecutions for immigration crimes is primarily being driven by illegal aliens crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The total number of illegal aliens prosecuted for illegally entering the country increased from 27,657 in Fiscal Year 2017 to 61,581 in Fiscal Year 2018.

Sixty-two percent of all immigration offenses prosecuted in Fiscal Year 2018 were of first-time illegal aliens who crossed the southern border while 32 percent were of illegal aliens who had repeatedly crossed the border. About five percent of prosecutions were of illegal aliens accused of human smuggling and one percent were prosecuted for misusing their government-issued visas.

A similar DOJ report released this year found that more than 88 percent of non-U.S. citizen federal convicts are illegal aliens who had been living in the country, Breitbart News reported. Of the nearly 30,000 non-citizen federal convicts sentenced between October 2017 and September 2018, about eight-in-nine were illegal aliens who had either crossed the southern border or overstayed their visa.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder. 

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