Increase in Federal Criminal Prosecutions for Immigration Related "Petty" Offenses may reflect "a harsher policy for sanctioning individuals who have been caught."
Syracuse University's TRAC Immigration has released another report that reveals that there has been a "spike" in federal criminal prosecutions for immigration related crimes that resulted from an increase in federal criminal referrals from Customs and Border Protection (CBP). There was a total of 15,313 federal prosecutions in December 2012, which was an increase of 14 percent from the previous month. The largest charged criminal offense is for violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1325: Improper Entry by Alien, i.e., sneaking into the country.
From the report:
Included in the case-by-case records obtained by TRAC is information about what the Justice Department calls the "lead charge" and the sentence that was imposed. The data show that the majority of defendants received no prison time other than time served while waiting for their cases to be resolved (see Table 2). During the first three months of FY 2013, nearly three out of four prosecutions (73 percent) were for illegal entry, a petty offense under Title 8 Section 1325 of the United States Code. In second place were prosecutions for illegal re-entry, a more serious felony charge. A total of 20 percent were re-entry prosecutions. For those convicted on the basis of the second charge the median prison sentence was 6 months.
TRAC believes that the increase in federal criminal prosecutions may be a result of the administration's employment of "a harsher policy for sanctioning individuals who have been caught."
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