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Sharp Rise in Immigration Filings Drives Criminal Prosecution Stats « The Washington Independent

Federal criminal prosecutions reached an all-time high in Fiscal Year 2009, driven by a sharp increase in immigration prosecutions. According to case-by-case data obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), overall federal prosecutions were up nearly 9 percent from the previous year, but immigration filings were up 15.7 percent. The result is that criminal prosecutions for immigration violations now make up more than half (54%) of all criminal cases brought by the federal government.

In FY 2009, the federal government prosecuted almost five times more immigration cases than in 2002.

Interestingly, although the government has said it is concentrating its immigration enforcement efforts on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, TRAC found that of the 91,899 immigration prosecutions in the last fiscal year, only thirteen employers in eight cases were prosecuted for the felony offense of illegally hiring undocumented workers.

Meanwhile, the prosecution of other major crime categories, such as crimes involving drugs, weapons and white-collar crime, increased only slightly or in some cases actually declined.

For example, according to TRAC, in FY 2009, the Justice Department recorded 178 securities fraud prosecutions. Although that’s a 22-percent increase in securities fraud prosecutions from the year before, notes TRAC, it’s still only about a third of the number of such prosecutions in 2002. As for corporate fraud, the 82 prosecutions from last year are about a quarter of the number in 2003.

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