The Bureau of Justice Statistics released some numbers today that are either quite disturbing or welcome news – depending on your point of view. In 2018, 64% of all federal arrests were of non-US citizens. That’s a 234% increase from 1998. A full 85% of these arrests involved immigration offenses.
The top five immigrant crimes prosecuted were:
- Illegal Entry 72%
- Drug-Related 13%
- Fraud 4.5%
- Alien Smuggling 4%
- Visa Misuse 2%
The DOJ report summed up the news by concluding, “From 1998 to 2018, federal immigration arrests increased 5-fold (from 20,942 to 108,667), rising more than 50,000 in one year from 2017 to 2018.” A demographic breakdown by the DOJ indicates 90% of those arrested were male. Mexican citizens were by far the largest group apprehended followed by a variety of people from Central American countries.
Good News & Bad News
These figures can be interpreted two ways. The first would be that its good news the government is prosecuting illegal aliens. But this effort requires an enormous amount of law enforcement manpower. One might legitimately ask how much in terms of tax dollars are going into arresting these suspects since illegals make up 7% of the population, according to the Census Bureau’s 2017 records.
In contrast, federal arrests of US citizens dropped from 63% to 36% during the same period. Citizens were most likely to be prosecuted for drug and weapon offenses. The full report was written by BJS statistician Mark Motivans and can be found here.