Federal Law Enforcement Resources Overwhelmingly Spent on Immigration Crime

Half of federal law enforcement arrests in 2014 were immigration-related crimes

An immigration detainee stands near an US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) grievance box in the high security unit at the Theo Lacy Facility
An immigration detainee stands near a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) grievance box in the high security unit at the Theo Lacy Facility / Getty Images
• March 23, 2017 4:50 pm


Immigration-related crimes made up half of all federal law enforcement arrests in 2014, according to a new Department of Justice report released Thursday.

Immigration offenses accounted for more than 81,000 of the 165,256 arrests made by federal authorities in 2014, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found in its study. Nearly two-thirds of the total number of federal arrests occurred in the five jurisdictions that sit along the U.S.-Mexican border.

The report further found those arrested along the U.S. southern border to be more likely than those arrested in any other region in the country to return to federal prison within three years of release.

"These statistics make it clear that immigration-related offenses along the United States border with Mexico account for an enormous portion of the federal government's law enforcement resources and that we must enforce our immigration laws in a way that consistently deters future violations," Justice Department spokeswomen Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement Thursday.

Immigration arrests have drastically increased since the early 1990s, according to the report. Immigration arrests doubled in a four-year span from 1994 to 1998, doubled again from 1998 to 2006, and double yet again from 2006 to 2013.

The increase in arrests beginning 2009 was in part the result of a spike in the number of multiple arrests for a single person.

The study comes three days after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released its first weekly report on the impacts of so-called sanctuary jurisdictions. ICE revealed on Monday that local authorities released more than 200 undocumented immigrants from prisons and jails in sanctuary jurisdictions over a week-long span earlier this year.

A homicide suspect, a convicted arsonist, and multiple individuals convicted of aggravated assault were among those released by local law enforcement across 118 jurisdictions between Jan. 28 to Feb. 3., according to ICE.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order in January requiring the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to issue frequent reports detailing the impact of illegal immigration while calling out the law enforcement agencies refusing to cooperate with ICE.

The president has threatened to withhold federal funds from cities failing to comply with federal immigration orders.

Published under: Illegal Immigration