Study finds sharp rise in immigration prosecutions

The investigation also reports Obama administration has stepped up cases against white-collar crimes

Published February 2, 2011 12:07AM (EST)

New government data shows the Obama administration has sharply increased immigration prosecutions and has stepped up cases against white-collar crimes, drug violations, organized crime and official corruption.

An analysis compiled by a private group using government data also found that there has been a decline in the Justice Department's felony prosecutions aside from immigration cases, particularly outside the Southwest.

The study was released Tuesday by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a private, nonpartisan group based at Syracuse University that compiled the data from the first two years of the Obama administration and the last two years of the Bush administration.

"The U.S. attorneys' offices and the litigating divisions have been extremely busy with active investigations not necessarily reflected in these numbers, as well as the thousands of criminal cases they've pursued in the last two years," Justice Department spokeswoman Jessica Smith said. "In fact, we've seen increases in the last two years in some of the most complex areas of criminal prosecution, including white collar, organized crime, public corruption and significant drug trafficking cases."

TRAC said that felony immigration prosecutions in federal court systems along the border from Houston to San Diego went up 259 percent from 2007 to 2010, increasing nearly 16,000 to 36,321.



By Pete Yost


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Barack Obama Immigration Immigration Reform