The federal government is on pace for nearly 150,000 prosecutions this year, which would mark a 27 percent surge over 2007, according to a new report.
The numbers, in large part, reflect the Bush administration’s increased emphasis on immigration enforcement. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a data research organization at Syracuse University, projected a 223 percent jump in illegal-entry prosecutions this year compared to last.
These prosecutions will have mushroomed by 1,000 percent compared to five years ago, assuming the Justice Department maintains its current pace in the last months of this fiscal year. “Immigration” as a broader category accounted for 49 percent of all federal prosecutions through June 2008, the organization reported.
For the first nine months of fiscal year 2008, the government reported 111,874 prosecutions. In a breakdown of the most common charges, the top three were entry of alien at improper time or place (33,792), reentry of deported alien (15,432), and drug abuse prevention & control-prohibited acts A (10,991). The latter charge covers manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs.
The report also ranks judicial districts by prosecutions per capita. The Western District of Texas, based in San Antonio, topped the list, with 17,429 new prosecutions — 4,047 prosecutions per 1 million people. That was a 187 percent increase over 2007.
The D.C. District ranked eighth — up from ninth in 2007 — with 316 prosecutions, which would translate to a ratio of 725 prosecutions per 1 million people.