Immigration prosecutions have surpassed those for drug crimes in federal courts, according to data released by the
Immigration sentences accounted for almost 35 percent of sentences handed down in federal criminal cases during the 2011 fiscal year, compared with 29.1 percent of sentences for dug offenses, the review said. Until FY 2009, drug sentences had been the most common in the federal system.
“Immigration cases continued to be the fastest growing segment of cases in the federal system,” the report says. Of 86,361 federal crimes for which an offender was sentenced in FY2011, there were 29,717 immigration cases.
“In the last ten fiscal years, the number of cases of this type has increased by 153.2 percent, while the total federal caseload has grown by 33.9 percent. As a result, the portion of the annual caseload attributable to immigration cases has increased from 18.6 percent in fiscal year 2002 to 34.9 percent in fiscal year 2011.”
Among those sentenced in the federal court system, 52 percent were U.S. citizens and 48 percent were non-citizens, according to the report. More than half, 50.4 percent, were Hispanic.