Arizona leads the way in federal prosecutions; Numbers driven by immigration prosecutions

Arizona doesn’t need SB 1070, its state-level controversial immigration enforcement measure, to lead the way in criminal prosecutions for immigration violations.

TRAC has released a new report on the federal criminal prosecutions of immigrants in Arizona.  The results mirror the findings in our green paper Operation Streamline: Drowning Justice and Draining Dollars along the Rio Grande, showing that criminal prosecutions for immigration violations have pushed Arizona to the head of all districts for prosecutions for any crime:

For the first time, Arizona now leads the nation in terms of having more federal prosecutions than any other federal district in the country. So far this year nearly one out of every five (19%) of all prosecutions filed anywhere in the nation were brought in Arizona, up from 15 percent during the first year of the Obama administration. In contrast, the state accounts for just 2 percent of the nation’s population (see Table 2).
The increased concentration of federal enforcement in Arizona during the last two years contrasts with the effort during the Bush Administration. Five years ago, for example, only 7 percent of all FY 2005 federal prosecutions were filed in Arizona. In the last years of the Bush Administration (FYs 2006-2008) this rose to 11 percent of the national total, still well below current levels.

A whopping 84.5% of those prosecutions are for immigration violations.  While Arizona Senators John McCain and Jon Kyle, along with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, stump for even more border enforcement funding, the state is already leading the way in criminalizing migration.