(CNSNews.com) – The number of criminal immigration prosecutions by the Department of Justice, stemming from referrals by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection agencies over the year ending in March 2012 dropped in comparison to previous years, according to the latest available federal data.
Through the Freedom of Information Act, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University obtained the data from DOJ’s Executive Office for United States Attorneys. TRAC describes itself as a non-partisan “data gathering, data research and data distribution organization.”
Over the 12-month period from April 2010 to March 2011, the number of DOJ prosecutions resulting from referrals by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) totaled 21,669. By comparison, the period April 2011 to March 2012 accounted for 19,149 prosecutions based on ICE referrals – an estimated 12 percent drop.
DOJ prosecutions stemming from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) investigations dropped by six percent over the same period, from 69,840 in the April 2010-March 2011 period to 65,440 between April 2011 and March 2012.
ICE and CBP are both components of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security charged with enforcing U.S. immigration laws. CBP deals with illegal cross border activity at and in between the ports of entry and ICE deals with deportations and immigration law violators inside the country.
Under the Obama administration, ICE in June 2011 determined it would employ prosecutorial discretion in deciding which illegal aliens to deport. It is now focusing on aliens with serious criminal records.