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Immigration charges account for 52 percent of federal charges

Immigration detention is a fear for many people who have come into the country without proper paperwork. Taking a look at the numbers for federal prosecutions shows that this fear isn't without merit. When the fiscal year ended recently, it was noted that more than half of federal prosecutions were for immigration-based issues.

Federal prosecutors prosecuted 63,405 other crimes during the past year; however, they prosecuted 69,636 immigration crimes. This means that immigration crimes accounted for 52 percent of the cases prosecuted on a federal level.

The next category was drug crimes, which only accounted for 12 percent of cases. Weapons crimes accounted for 6 percent and organized crime cases accounted for 4 percent. No other types of charges were listed, but everything else accounted for 26 percent of cases. It is assumed that those cases include charges like fraud and white collar crimes.

Some people are calling foul on the fact that immigration charges accounted for over half of federal prosecutions. This is because many of these crimes aren't violent crimes. Some of these cases would only be associated with a few months of incarceration, but many are accompanied by penalties like a 10-year ban from coming back into the United States.

Of the immigration cases that were heard, just under 3,000 were in California. That pales in comparison to the nearly 44,000 that were handled in Texas. For those who are facing these charges, finding out what kinds of defenses they can present can help them decide what to do. Being barred from coming back into the country is serious, especially for those who are only trying to make a living and support family members.

Source: Fox News, "Immigration violations are majority of federal cases for first time," William La Jeunesse, Nov. 29, 2016

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber