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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Immigration Now 52 Percent of All Federal Criminal Prosecutions

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As I previously explained, Obama has engaged in the widespread criminalization of immigration law violations to enable him to pad his "criminal" deportation statistics.

Via Syracuse University's TRAC Immigration:

Immigration remains the major focus of federal criminal enforcement efforts. The latest available data show that criminal prosecutions for illegal entry, illegal re-entry, and similar immigration violations made up 52 percent of all federal prosecutions in FY 2016. During the 12 months ending September 30, immigration prosecutions totaled 69,636. See Table 1.

This number compares with just 63,405 prosecutions for all other federal crimes—including drugs, weapons, fraud, and violations of the thousands of other criminal provisions that the federal government is responsible for enforcing.

These comparisons are based on case-by-case records obtained as a result of lengthy litigation brought by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) against the U.S. Department of Justice.

The number of immigration prosecutions in FY 2016 was down 6.9 percent from levels in FY 2015 when such prosecutions totaled 74,791. It was also down 15.3 percent from the levels of five years ago when they totaled 82,250. Prosecutions over the past year are still much higher than they were ten years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are up 85.6 percent from the level of 37,529 reported in 2006 and up 823 percent from the level of 7,543 reported in 1996.

The long term trend in immigration prosecutions for these matters going back to FY 1996 is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of immigration prosecutions of this type recorded each fiscal year. Each presidential administration is distinguished by the color of the bars.

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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Despite the large number of deportations and criminal prosecutions for immigration violations, there is every reason to believe that the Obama administration will be looked back on as a golden age of immigrant rights compared to what we can expect under Donald Trump.

    This is because of two not widely known or frequently used statutes already on the books which we are likely to hear about quite a bit more in the coming years of anti-immigrant hatred and repression under the new president and his fiercely anti-immigrant choice for general, Jeff Sessions.

    One of these laws, INA Section 212(f) will give Trump almost unlimited power to bar immigrants or visitors from entering the United States for any reason, including, race, religion, political opinion or any other factor that the president, in his unlimited discretion, decides is detrimental to US interests.

    This statute would not only give Trump the power to ban all Muslims throughout the world from entering the United States, but would also give him the power to exclude anyone coming from designated Muslim countries.

    And not only Muslims - immigrants could also be barred by race, as under the 19th century Chinese exclusion law Supreme Court decisions which have never been overruled and are still the law today (See Kleindienst v Mandel, 1972), or merely because Trump doesn't like their views or they may have said something negative about this notoriously thin-skinned president-elect, who keeps threatening to retaliate against everyone who disagrees with him in every way possible.

    As Justice Douglas suggested in his dissent in Kleindienst, INA Section 212(f) arguably give the president power to exclude an immigrant or visitor for saying the the earth is round, rather than flat.

    How many climate change opponents will be able to get visas to attend scientific conferences in the US in Donald Trump's America?

    Will anyone who has ever complained about Russian-supported human rights violations in Syria or advocated on behalf of Syrian refugees be able to visit America in the new administration?

    Will someone who has been a business competitor of one of Trump's overseas ventures, or has ever said anything critical of Trump, be allowed into the US?

    No one should count on that.

    The other extremely broad statute, INA Section 274, makes it a federal felony to "harbor" or "assist" anyone who is in this country illegally. This law applies to everyone, not just foreign citizens.

    Up to now, this law, as is also the case with Section 212(f) has been used sparingly.

    Under the new immigrant-hating attorney general, with his lass than stellar record on civil rights and race relations in general, could we see a huge spike in prosecutions of American citizens who "assist" illegal immigrants by advocating for legalization, protesting against cruel and inhuman abuses and denial of basic human rights in immigration detention centers, or who provide lodging, medical assistance or even trivial benefits such as car driver or restaurant server tips to anyone without first checking the person's legal status?

    Could millions of Americans who have pro-immigration views or who advocate for more lenient or open immigration policies toward DREAMERS or other people who are in this country without legal status be headed to prison?

    Will American citizens who provide legal advice or support to unauthorized immigrants be safe from prosecution?

    Will American citizens who do not turn their own spouses, parents or other family members in for deportation be charged with committing a felony by our incoming new attorney general, who in his January 2015 "Handbook" for Republican members of Congress, praised the Coolidge administration's 1924 "Nordics" -only immigration law, one of the most overtly racist immigration statutes in our entire history?

    It is not at all inconceivable that America may be about to witness an era of repression against pro-immigration Americans that could make the Russia of Trump's good friend and supporter, Vladimir Putin, seem like a bastion of freedom and democracy by comparison.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-07-2017 at 03:25 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. MKolken's Avatar
    "Up to now, this law, as is also the case with Section 212(f) has been used sparingly."

    This statement is patently false.
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