Immigration Arrests Drop to 38-Year Low
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Federal law enforcement officers are not apprehending immigrants like they used to do, arresting the lowest total in almost four decades during 2010.
Apprehensions for immigration violations numbered 516,992 two years ago, which was down dramatically from the peak year of 2000, when 1.8 million were arrested. The 2010 total was the lowest level since 1972, according to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).
About two-thirds of those arrested were charged with misdemeanor illegal entry and sentenced to six months or less in jail. Ninety-seven percent pled guilty.
Most of the 2010 arrests (87%) were in the Southwest, with Tucson leading the way with 212,202. Tucson was followed by San Diego (68,565), Rio Grande Valley (59,766), Laredo (35,287), El Centro (32,562) and Del Rio (14,694).
More than 80% of those apprehended hailed from Mexico. The BJS noted that an “increasing share of persons apprehended came from countries in Central America,” reaching 12% in 2010, up from 3% in 2002.
To Learn More:
Between 2000 and 2010, Federal Apprehensions for Immigration Violations Declined While Arrests Tripled (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
Immigration Offenders in the Federal Justice System, 2010 (Bureau of Justice Statistics) (pdf)
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