A newly released report from TRAC shows what this blog has documented since its inception – a massive increase in the use of federal criminal prosecutions for border-crossers in districts along the border. Previous to Operation Streamline, most border-crossers would have been deported, but not criminally prosecuted.
Now, we are seeing record prosecutions for immigration violations while national prosecutions of other felonies have actually declined. According to the report from TRAC:
With federal enforcement increasingly focused on immigration matters, other kinds of felony prosecutions — particularly those brought in districts outside the southwest — have declined, according to a comparison of the first two years under President Obama with the last two years of the Bush administration.
Over this period, the prosecution of all kinds of non-immigration felonies for most parts of the country went down by 6 percent
TRAC also breaks the numbers down to show that the shift towards increasing prosecutions of immigrants is skewing the share of resources dedicated to prosecuting crime in non-border districts:
… with almost no notice to Congress, the American people, various public interest and local law enforcement groups, the Obama administration has implemented a very substantial shift in how it is enforcing federal laws. Four short years ago, slightly more than one-third (36 percent) of federal felony prosecutions were in the five federal districts along the southwest border, while almost two-thirds (64 percent) took place in the rest of the country. Now, while still less than 10 percent of the population lives in those border districts, almost half (47 percent) of all federal felony prosecutions occur there.
The entirety of the report is certainly worth a read. Find it here.