Data released by the Justice Department reveals that federal arrests of non-citizens has increased exponentially over the past two decades, and account for the majority of all federal arrests.
Non-citizens made up 64% of all federal arrests in 2018 despite making up only 7% of the U.S. population, according to Justice Department data released Thursday and reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation. Between 1998 and 2018, federal arrests of non-citizens grew by 234%, while federal arrest of U.S. citizens only climbed 10%.
While the numbers provide credence to President Donald Trump’s argument that illegal immigration results in increased crime, immigration experts also point out that migrant apprehensions make up a significant portion of current federal arrests.
“Experience has taught the immigration agencies and DOJ that this works to reduce recidivism — in other words, when illegal crossers face some more severe consequence than just being sent back home, they don’t keep doing it,” Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies told the Washington Examiner.
Trump has made increased immigration enforcement a hallmark goal of his administration. His efforts at beefing up border security and providing additional funding to the Customs and Border Protection have yielded satisfactory results. Federal immigration apprehension climbed more than 50,000 from 2017 to 2018, according to the Justice Department data.
While 95% of the increase in federal arrests over the last 20 years were, in fact, due to immigration offenses, other information from the Justice Department indicates that non-citizens do commit crimes in greater proportions than their citizen counterparts.
Non-citizens — which only make up 7% of the U.S. population — accounted for 28% of all federal fraud arrests, 25% of all federal property arrests, and 24% of all federal drug arrests. The Justice Department identified the top five crimes non-citizens were most likely be prosecuted for: Illegal re-entry, drugs, fraud, alien smuggling and misuse of visas.
“Opponents of immigration enforcement are obsessed with trying to establish that illegal aliens and legal immigrants commit fewer crimes than Americans, and so, as their narrative goes, local law enforcement agencies should not cooperate with ICE and should adopt sanctuary policies,” Vaughan continued in her statement. “This is first of all not true, but is off-point and a dangerous conclusion.”
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