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Immigration crimes hit a record amount among federal prosecutions in 2009

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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-04-10 03:38 AM
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Immigration crimes hit a record amount among federal prosecutions in 2009
The San Jose Mercury News reports:

As Israel Gonzalez-Reyes recently stood before a San Jose judge for sentencing, his case had all the ingredients of the most common crime in the nation's federal courts over the past year.

The 39-year-old defendant had been deported to his native Mexico on eight separate occasions, repeatedly returning to the United States before winding up in jail, usually charged with a variety of state crimes ranging from burglary to drunken driving. Federal prosecutors had had enough this time around, Gonzalez-Reyes was charged under criminal immigration laws forbidding the illegal re-entry of a deported alien back into the United States.

More than ever, federal prosecutors are using such felony charges and the threat of serious federal prison time to make lawbreakers think twice before making another trip across the border. In 2009, the U.S. Justice Department filed nearly 92,000 immigration-related criminal cases in the federal courts. The record-breaking trend accounted for more than half of all new federal prosecutions in the country, according to Justice Department data maintained at Syracuse University.

As of October, the latest figures available, federal prosecutors had filed nearly 300 such cases in the Northern California federal courts, which include San Jose. Syracuse researchers projected that figure would reach nearly 400 by the end of the year, more than double the number filed in 2005. The Bay Area federal courts ranked 10th out of the country's 93 districts in such filings.

Spurred by the relentless surge of illegal immigration in border states such as Texas and Arizona, where immigration prosecutions total in the thousands, the federal government has concluded that simple deportation is no longer an adequate response to repeat offenders with criminal records. Experts attribute the steady rise in prosecutions to several factors, including an increase in immigration and border patrol agents during the Bush administration, and greater emphasis on prosecuting cases that are often easy to prove.

There is ample doubt that criminal enforcement can put much of a dent in the nation's illegal immigration problems. And critics worry that many routine immigration matters are being transformed into federal felony charges with increasingly lengthy sentences. There is also concern about a disproportionate impact on Mexican nationals. A Mercury News review of 52 immigration cases filed in the San Jose federal courts between January and October found every defendant was from Mexico.

Howard Mintz, Feds charge record number of immigration crimes.
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bbgoyal365 Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-04-10 04:56 AM
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1. immigration crimes
immigration should be granted after strict checks.
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