2015 Sentencing Commission Report Documents Downward Trend in Prosecution for Immigration Crimes

CIS — The United States Sentencing Commission has just issued its annual report, which documents on a yearly basis the upward and downward trends of prosecutions, convictions and sentencing among the range of federal criminal laws.

The immigration-related portions of the report on federal criminal prosecutions are worth noting. What, you might ask, are the kinds of federal criminal offenses relating to immigration that result in prosecution? In broad-brush terms, they would include:

    Unlawful entry into the United States

    Reentry into the United States after removal (deportation)

    Alien smuggling

    Fraud or false statements in procuring visas or entry into the United States

    Fraud in the procurement of naturalization

Although the Commission’s report reflects the year 2015, they provide a perfect complement to the Backgrounder just published by the Center’s National Policy Director Jessica Vaughan, “Enforcement Continues Decline”, which documents the downward trend in 2016 of enforcement of the nation’s civil immigration (that is to say, the deportation and removal) laws.

Unfortunately, the Sentencing Commission report also reflects a significant decline in prosecutions for federal immigration-related criminal offenses. According to the Sentencing Commission:

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