DOJ: Non-citizens accounted for 64% of all federal arrests

Saturday, August 24, 2019
 | 
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

ICE arrests 1A report unleashed by the United States Department of Justice on Thursday revealed that nearly two-thirds (64%) of all federal arrests made were on non-U.S. citizens – including illegal aliens – and the problem’s been getting worse.

“A remarkable statistic – in 2018, 64% of all federal arrests were of non-U.S. citizens – the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced [Thursday],” the DOJ released in a report. “In comparison, 37% of all federal arrests in 1998 were of non-U.S. citizens.”

It’s getting worse …

Compared to just a decade ago, when former President Barack Obama began his first term in office, illegal activity by non-citizens has escalated many times over.

“Federal arrests of non-U.S. citizens more than tripled from 1998 to 2018 (rising 234%), while federal arrests of U.S. citizens rose 10%,” the DOJ stressed. “While non-U.S. citizens make up 7% of the U.S. population (per the U.S. Census Bureau for 2017), they accounted for 15% of all federal arrests and 15% of prosecutions in U.S. district court for non-immigration crimes in 2018. Non-U.S. citizens accounted for 24% of all federal drug arrests and 25% of all federal property arrests, including 28% of all federal fraud arrests.” 

Over two decades, the country of citizenship of those arrested by federal law enforcement officials has changed considerably.

“From 1998 to 2018, Mexican citizens’ share of federal arrests rose from 28% to 40%,” the DOJ noted. “Citizens of Central American countries’ share of federal arrests rose from 1% to 20% during the same period, while U.S. citizens’ share of federal arrests fell from 63% to 36%.”

U.S. Attorney Mike Stewart warned about the significant financial toll criminal aliens and other illicit non-citizens are costing U.S. citizens.

“It is a significant drain of federal taxpayer funds to prosecute those who are not taxpayers and those who are not citizens of this great country,” Stewart explained in statement. “Non-U.S. citizen arrests are increasing at a dramatic and concerning pace.”

He stressed how crucial secure borders are to both national security and the economy.

“It is important that within our national borders and within my district that we continue to ensure public safety by ensuring everyone who is here is here legally and legitimately,” Stewart added. “My office regularly and consistently prosecutes illegal reentry cases and we will continue to do so.”

He closed by extending his appreciation for federal agents’ hard work to protect citizens.

“I want to thank all of our federal, state and local partners across the nation, including the remarkable work by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for their courageous work to protect our citizens and the public,” Stewart expressed.

Media plays down significance of non-citizens’ illegal activity

The mainstream media questioned the impact that illegal activity by non-citizens has taken on the nation.

“Concern about crime committed by undocumented immigrants has been a key point in the Trump administration's push for stricter border controls,” NBC News reported. “But the report showed that most of the arrests of noncitizens were for immigration offenses – not violent crimes.”

In contrast, conservative media sources argued that the amount of criminal activity at the hands of non-citizens is nothing minor.

“So nearly two-thirds of all federal arrests – total – were of non-citizens last year, including roughly one-fourth of all federal drug, property and fraud arrests,” Townhall emphasized. “Most of the arrests were related to immigration-related crimes, but arrests for other federal crimes were disproportionately very high among this population.”

Townhall’s Guy Benson repeated the stats relayed by NBC News – that the vast majority of non-immigration arrests last year were conducted on U.S. citizens, but he clarified that the numbers are not insignificant by any measure. 

“If I'm reading this correctly, non-citizens were arrested for nine percent of violent federal crimes in 2018 – that's still disproportionately high, but not by much,” Benson pointed out.

He also noted a few other key observances from the statistics:

“(1) The vast majority of arrests in this country are state arrests, so this data only gives us a sliver of the overall picture,” Benson explained. “It's still useful, of course, but it's not comprehensive.”

“(2) ‘Non-citizens’ does not necessarily mean ‘illegal immigrants,’" Benson impressed. “This broader category also includes legal residents, visa holders and other approved visitors. Given the raft of information showing that legal immigrants are exceptionally law-abiding – compared to native-born Americans and illegal immigrants – I think it's a safe assumption a lopsided share of the non-citizen arrests described were, in fact, of illegal immigrants.”

(3) I don't think this report cancels out important findings like these, because it's a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison; arrests and incarceration rates are different metrics (for instance, an illegal immigrant arrested for various crimes might be deported, as opposed to imprisoned),” Benson noted. “The truth seems to be murkier and more complex than either ‘side’ of this debate would care to admit.”

Benson then cautioned that either side of the immigration issue could magnify the figures to work toward their advantage.

“Perusing these numbers, I'm further convinced that neither tribe's immigration 'narrative' is cleanly proven,” Benson offered. 

He started by explaining that the “nearly two-thirds” statistic can be a bit misleading.

“Some immigration restrictionists on the Right will trumpet the 64 percent number as if it demonstrates that illegal immigrants are committing the vast majority of crimes in America – despite being a small percentage of the overall population.” Benson articulated. “That's not quite accurate – for a variety of reasons explained above.”  

No small deal

The conservative journalist also clarified how liberals will tend to discount the amount of illegals' criminal activity when weighed against U.S. citizens – even though non-citizens' arrests for illicit conduct is proportionally greater among their numbers.

“Anti-enforcement activists on the Left and in the media, by contrast, will argue that the overwhelming majority of the arrests mentioned are ‘only’ for non-violent and immigration offenses. That's not a strong argument,” Benson contended.

“As mentioned earlier, it appears that non-citizens are arrested for a slightly disproportionately high number of violent federal crimes – plus, any crime, especially a violent crime, committed by someone here illegally is unacceptable.”

He ended by asserting that pro-immigration/open borders activists within the Democratic Party will continue to push their narrative that illegal immigrants do not pose a substantial economic or safety threat to society – which he says is dangerous.

“Downplaying federal immigration crimes – as if those don't really count or matter – is unserious and irresponsible,” Benson concluded. “The same applies to drug, property and fraud offenses.”

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