By Patricia Vélez Santiago
April 06, 2017
Among immigrant cases prosecuted under Trump in February, 0.1 percent considered a threat to public safety
The president likes to link immigration and criminality, but the latest data shows only five of 4,301 immigrant prosecutions were for dangerous criminal acts.
Despite President Donald Trump’s much vaunted plans to get rid of “bad hombres,” gang members and drug traffickers as an urgent matter of national security, only five of the more than 4,000 people prosecuted in new immigration cases in February actually committed crimes that put public safety at risk, according to Justice Department data.
The Trump administration opened 4,301 immigration crime related prosecutions in February, down 7.4 percent from January. That’s also 14.7 percent less than in the same month last year, according to a breakdown of figures from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).
The data reveals that the bulk of the new immigration cases (3,733) were initiated in courts that handle misdemeanors posing no danger to national security. Some cases may commence in these courts before being referred to a district court or higher.
Top 10 charges for immigration prosecutions in February:
By far, re-entry to the U.S. after deportation was the charge that initiated the largest number of cases.
Reentry of deported alien
Bringing in and harboring certain aliens
Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents
Misuse of passport
Entry of alien at improper time or place
False statement in application and use of passport
Firearms; Unlawful acts
Fraud and related activity – ID documents
Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US
Fraud/false statements or entries generally
The most common charge was for illegal entry to the United States—“entry of alien at improper time or place”—representing 48.8 percent of the cases.
The second most common charge was for re-entry into the country after being deported: amounting to 43.6 percent of the cases.
Only five immigrants were charged with offenses involving a firearm or other dangerous criminal act in February, accounting for 0.1 percent of the total immigration cases that were opened.
Despite Trump’s harsh rhetoric against undocumented immigrants, prosecutions against these migrants for this type of charge declined 51.7 percent in February compared to the same month in 2016, according to TRAC data.
Compared to five years ago, charges for these types of crimes plummeted 46.2 percent.
Of the top 10 charges, the next most serious is “conspiracy to commit an offense or defraud the United States,” for which only four trials were initiated in February.
Immigration convictions show a similar pattern:
Top charges for immigration convictions in February:
Re-entry to the United States after being deported was again the main cause for which judges issued their sentences in high courts.
An analysis of sentencing data in immigration cases in February also showed a low number of serious crimes. Out of 4,198 judgments, 61 percent were for petty offenses.
Again, the main cause was entry into the country at an “inappropriate time or place,” with 70.2 percent of the cases, and the second the reentry to the United States after being deported, with 29 percent.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com