The illegal-alien invasion of the United States across the southwest border isn’t just a nightmare for the border agents who must process, feed, and provide medical care for the poverty-stricken “migrants.”
Difficult as it is for the Border Patrol and myriad agencies to care for the incoming illegals, they present more than just a numbers problem. Or the problem of spreading communicable diseases they bring with them.
They’re a major burden on federal courts and federal prisons, which must handle not only notorious gang members and violent criminals but also those illegals prosecuted for violating immigration laws.
The most recently-released federal data show how big a job that is. Illegal aliens convicted of immigration crimes are the largest group of offenders sentenced in the federal court system.
More Than 30 Percent
Immigration offenses were some 30 percent of all federal sentencings, the U.S. Sentencing Commission disclosed in its report for fiscal 2018.
“Immigration cases accounted for the largest single group of offenses in fiscal year 2018, comprising 34.4 percent of all reported cases,” the commission reported. “Cases involving drugs, firearms, and fraud were the next most common types of offenses after immigration cases. Together these four types of offenses accounted for 82.9 percent of all cases.”
The number of illegal aliens or others sentenced for immigration crimes is mind-boggling, the data show.
Of the 69,425 federal sentencings in 2018, the commission reported, 23,883, or 34.3 percent, were for immigration crimes. That figure is 3,387 more than the 20,496 in 2017, an increase of about 16.5 percent.
Almost all the offenders, 22,136, about 92.3 percent, were sentenced for one of four crimes: alien smuggling, acquiring fraudulent documents, unlawful entry and remaining the country, or immigration document trafficking or making false or fraudulent immigration statements.
Almost all those sentences, 82.4 percent, were for unlawful entry, the commission reported. Alien smuggling comprised 12.8 percent, false documents, 4.2 percent, and document trafficking or false statements, 0.5 percent.
Immigration crime also includes housing an illegal alien, trafficking or fraudulently acquiring a U.S. passport, trafficking in entry documents, and failure to surrender a naturalization certificate.
Because so many sentencings involve immigration, 54.3 percent of all those sentenced for a federal offense are Hispanic, the commission reported, while 21.2 percent are white and 20.6 percent are black. Non-citizens were 42.7 percent of those sentenced.
But 22,782 of the 23,883 immigration cases, or 96.3 percent, involved Hispanics. Not surprisingly, the vast majority, 22,106 or 92.7 percent, were men or boys. Again not surprisingly, 21,835 of those sentenced for immigration crimes, or 91.5 percent, were non-citizens.
Another datum of concern shows that illegals aren’t just poor and hunting for a job. They’re also, as a practical matter, illiterate: 15,226 of those sentenced and for whom officials had an education history, about 80 percent, didn’t have a high-school education.
Aside from the processing, paperwork, and court time involved in handling these miscreants, the commission reported, they also burden prisons: 22,619 went to prison for immigration crimes, 22,210 for up to five years. Most of those,15,121, were imprisoned for a year or less. The average sentence was 10 months.
Increase for FY 2019?
As high as the 16-percent increase in sentencings for immigration crimes is for 2018, that rate will likely increase when officials crunch the data for Fiscal 2019, which ends September 30.
With “migrants” pouring into the country at a rate of more than 106,000 a month for the past two months — 1,7137 per day — and many of them charged with illegally crossing the border, federal prison authorities can likely expect a major influx of prisoners sentenced for immigration crimes.
Those short 10-month sentences won’t include longer terms for illegals who commit serious crimes such as rape, robbery, and murder, either on their own or as members of the dangerous gangs that border authorities apprehend almost daily.
Since October 1, 531,711 illegals have crossed the border.