More than half of federal prosecutions now concern immigration, which was not always the case.
Reporter William La Jeunesse rattled off a series of statistics, most of which painted a picture of Obama-fueled open border chaos.
TUCKER CARLSON: President-elect Trump’s campaign promised to crack down heavily on illegal immigration, a phenomenon that, among many other things, costs America tens of billions of dollars each year, and clogs the federal courts much more than any of us knew. How severe is the problem? Our correspondent William La Jeunesse dug up the numbers, actually went to the numbers, like anyone else and joins us now from our West Coast bureau with his report. William thanks for coming on. What did you find?La Jeunesse’s written article on the same topic had a somewhat different selection of statistics:
WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE: Tucker, you could argue that border security doesn’t begin at the border; it starts in Washington where policy is set, so here’s the headline for this story: more than half of all federal prosecutions are immigration-related. That’s 52 percent compared to 12 percent for drugs, six percent for weapons, four percent organized crime, 26 percent for everything else.
So you got 70,000 prosecutions for people illegally entering the US, 63,000 for everything else, where just four years ago, drugs was number one. You go back to 1992, immigration was just two percent of the caseload not 52 percent. Now 77 or 70,000 sounds like a lot, but remember the Border Patrol apprehended 400,000 illegals this year, so 20 percent are being prosecuted. Also 70,000 is down from 95,000 four years ago, so we’re prosecuting less, not more, over the last four years. But this is opposite of catch and release, which many people would argue is happening to some extent today.
Secondly I spoke to the former US Attorney Pete Nunez for San Diego. He said when an immigrant gets six months to two years in prison for entering illegally, that sends a message. Secondly the real value in prosecuting is a single conviction will bar an immigrant from applying to legally enter for 10 years. That is a huge deterrent, but of course it’s not cheap when it costs 25 grand to put somebody in prison, but none of this addresses the real problem that the Border Patrol’s experiencing right now which isn’t Mexicans trying to sneak in, but Central Americans wanting asylum.
New figures from the Center for Immigration Studies’ Jessica Vaughan shows that the US resettled 59,000 children from Central America this fiscal year. That’s up 25,000 from 2015 and just last week the Border Patrol caught on average 247 unaccompanied children per day. That doesn’t count families which is about the same amount. So the point is that agents right now are saying these people should not be getting asylum, but under President Obama they’re getting a court date for which 51 percent of the children, 84 percent of the families, don’t show up to court.
CARLSON: Amazing, the talking point you keep hearing is that net migration is going back to Mexico but you’re saying really the problem is from Central America.
LA JEUNESSE: Yeah, about 277,000 were caught from Mexico last year. The real problems are the Central Americans which is costing, I mean, two years ago only 64 kids a day were being caught, and now you’re up to 250: that’s a four- almost a five-fold increase. So that’s the problem. So the question is what do you do with them. That’s expensive. It’s about $3 billion DHS is asking for next year just for the unaccompanied children.
CARLSON: Amazing, fully changing this country too.
Immigration violations are majority of federal cases for first time, Fox News, November 29, 2016
For the first time, immigration violations now make up more than half of all federal prosecutions, easily outpacing drugs, fraud, organized crime, weapons charges and other crimes.
In the last fiscal year, 52 percent of all federal prosecutions – 69,636 cases – involved an immigration violation, compared to 63,405 prosecutions for all other federal crimes, according to a new study by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Clearinghouse, which sued the Justice Department to obtain the information.
“Imagine the other crimes that are not being prosecuted because immigration is such a priority,” study co-author Susan Long told Fox News.
The two most common charges pursued by prosecutors relate to illegal entry or re-entry to the U.S. The penalty for a conviction on either charge can range from a few months to typically two years in federal prison for a person who re-enters the U.S. after being deported.
However, a more serious outcome from a conviction isn’t jail, but a 10-year prohibition from entering the U.S.
“The worst consequence isn’t that you go to jail for six months, but you are legally barred from entering the U.S. for a decade,” said Peter Nunez, a former U.S. Attorney for San Diego. “It really screws up immigration status. If word got out, from the White House on down, that the goal is to prosecute every single person who enters the U.S. illegally, and we don’t care if you go to jail for an hour or a month, we want the conviction on the record – because that is the greatest deterrent you can achieve to prevent further illegal entries not only by those people but other people.”
A study by the Congressional Research Service found that criminal prosecution was the number one factor in reducing recidivism, or illegal immigrant re-entry. The Border Patrol calls it “consequence delivery” and it was first rolled out in 2005 on a pilot basis called Operation Streamline.
Since the operation requires the cooperation of Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the courts, its use was not widespread and immigrants quickly moved to other sectors to re-enter.
The Syracuse study found that Texas saw the most prosecutions, with almost 44,000, compared to just under 3,000 in California.
“When they say half of all criminal prosecutions are immigration related, I say ‘so what’,” said Jessica Vaughn, a policy analyst with the Center for Immigration Studies. “These are bread and butter, slam-dunk cases. It is not a big deal to prosecute an illegal alien when you catch them in the act. To me, it is a dog-bites-man story. Most immigration cases are handled on an administrative basis.”
While Long questioned the expense of prosecuting so many low -level offenders, Nunez said the cases are not complicated and do not represent say ’50 percent’ of a prosecutor’s office budget. Under Operation Streamline guidelines, up to 40 defendants can be tried simultaneously before a judge in a trial lasting as little as an hour because typically the facts are not in dispute.
“If you are a previously deported immigrant and return to the U.S., it’s a pretty easy prosecution,” said Nunez. “The role of the prosecutor is to convict people as quickly and easily as possible. There is nothing wrong that.”