The United States Focuses on Undocumented Immigrants and Crime

Since the new Trump Administration has taken office, one of the hottest ongoing topics in the US is related to immigration and crime. Specifically, the issue of immigration status and the threat of deportation due to legal issues in the United States. On January 25 an executive order was signed tasking the Secretary of Homeland Security with publishing a weekly list of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.

Undocumented Immigrants Criminal Statistics

The purpose of the executive order is at odds with known statistics. Studies have concluded that immigrants to the United States are less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens. Immigrants, legal and illegal, make up about 5 percent of inmates in state and federal prisons, but account for 7 percent of the total population. But even with lower crime rates, nearly 2 million immigrants have a criminal conviction. An older study by the Government Accountability Office looked at 55,322 criminals illegally in the United States, identifying the types of crimes they committed. The crimes had the following breakdown:
  • 12 percent were violent crimes (murder, robbery, assault, sex-related)
  • 15 percent were property crimes (burglary, larceny, theft, property damage)
  • 45 percent were drug or immigration crimes
  • 28 percent were for other crimes, including DUI, other traffic violations, and fraud
58 percent of these studied arrests were made in California.

The Introduction of VOICE

Among the two memorandums signed by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, one of them particularly is designed to work with the victims of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants (VOICE), detailing the expansion in numbers of unauthorized immigrants who can be deported through an expedited process. This bridges criminal law with immigration law, two legal areas that have been highlighted lately in the news. Everyone facing legal charges, immigrants especially, should consider hiring a criminal defense attorney to seek a more favorable outcome. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth will feature more blogs relevant to this topic to keep you updated on the latest breaking news that can have a direct effect on the lives of our nations undocumented immigrants. Download our free DUI Defense EBook and Guide.