By R. Mitchell –
The Justice Department today announced that in fiscal year 2019 (FY19), its U.S. Attorneys’ Offices prosecuted the highest number of immigration-related offenses since record-keeping began more than 25 years ago. These numbers successfully reverse the trend in previous years of declining prosecutions for felony Illegal Reentry defendants, misdemeanor Improper Entry defendants, and felony Alien Smuggling defendants.
“These record-breaking numbers are a testament to the dedication of our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout the nation, especially our Southwest border offices,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. “In addition to the usual workload of each case the Department prosecutes, this effort was made possible after our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices restored essential partnerships with national, state and local law enforcement partners.”
The newly announced numbers show the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices charged 25,426 defendants with felony Illegal Reentry (8 U.S.C. §1326) in FY19, an increase of 8.5 percent from FY18.
80,866 defendants were charged with misdemeanor Improper Entry (8 U.S.C. §1325(a)), surpassing the record set just last year by 18.1 percent.
4,297 defendants were charged with Alien Smuggling (8 U.S.C. §1324), an increase of 15.4 percent from FY18.
The increased prosecutions are part of the Department of Justice’s commitment to enforcing America’s laws to address the crisis at the border. This announcement comes one week after the Department of Justice announced its Executive Office for Immigration Review completed 275,000 cases in FY19, the second-highest number of completed cases in the court’s history.
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