REPORT: Latest Federal Arrest Numbers Show a Focus on Immigration-Related Offenses

By Yessenia Funes Apr 11, 2017

The Pew Research Center released a report yesterday (April 10) showing that, in 2014, federal law enforcement made more arrests for immigration-related offenses than it had for drugs, property or gun crimes.

This report uses the most recent available data, which was compiled under the Obama administration. The data is telling: Half of the 165,265 arrests made in 2014 had to do with immigration enforcement, including illegal border crossings or human smuggling.

Just 10 years prior, these arrests made up 28 percent of federal law enforcement activity. While the number of immigration-related arrests grew, those for crimes related to weapons, drugs, property and probation or parole violations fell.

The report notes that the immigration-related offenses and figures in this report aren’t the same as those for migrant apprehensions or deportations. Pew also specifies that these numbers may not be indicative of the current administration. The center writes:

While the 2014 data do not necessarily reflect current trends, they highlight a growing focus on immigration offenses on the part of federal law enforcement agencies. One striking reflection of that shift is the emergence of [the Department of Homeland Security] as the federal government’s leading arrester, surpassing [the Department of Justice] in 2007.

In 2014, the DHS was behind 59 percent of federal arrests while the DOJ was responsible for 35 percent. This tracks with who the federal government was arresting: 61 percent were non-U.S. citizens, according to Pew, with most arrests happening along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Check out the full report here.