DOJ Prosecuted Record Number of Immigration-Related Cases in FY 2019

Melsida Asatrian's picture

The Department of Justice released its immigration-related prosecution statistics for fiscal year 2019 on October 17, 2019 [PDF version]. The statistics track the number of charges brought under 8 U.S.C. 1326, 8 U.S.C. 1325, and 8 U.S.C. 1324 from October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019.

The Department of Justice charged 25,426 defendants with felony illegal reentry under 8 U.S.C. 1326. This represented an 8-percent increase over fiscal year 2018, and the highest number in the 25 years that these statistics have been kept. The previous record as 24,676 charges brought in fiscal year 2010.

The Department of Justice charged 80,866 defendants with misdemeanor improper entry under 8 U.S.C. 1325(a) in fiscal year 2019. This marked an 18.1 percent increase from fiscal year 2018, which had been the highest number since these statistics have been kept.

The Department of Justice charged 4,297 defendants with alien smuggling under 8 U.S.C. 1324 in fiscal year 2019. This is a significant increase from the 3,724 charges filed in fiscal year 2018. This also surpasses the record of 4,172 such charges filed in fiscal year 2006.

Civil immigration charges are brought by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in immigration court. The three provisions discussed in the Department of Justice statistics are criminal provisions relating to illegal entry and alien smuggling. Not every illegal entry, reentry, or smuggling case falls within the ambient of the three criminal provisions, and the Department of Justice does not necessarily charge every case that does. An alien facing civil or criminal charges relating to immigration should consult with an experienced immigration attorney, and, if necessary depending on the specific charges, an attorney with experience in representing clients facing felony or misdemeanor charges in Federal court.

DOJ Prosecuted Record Number of Immigration-Related Cases in FY 2019