The number of federal immigration arrests has broken a record – in 2012, there were 85,458 federal immigration arrests, an increase of 709 arrests from the previously held all-time-high in 2009. If you or a loved one is facing federal immigration charges, you need the help of the attorneys at Goldstein Immigration Lawyers.
Unlawful Reentry Convictions Surge
According to the Pew Research Center, one of the biggest causes of the surge in federal immigration convictions is centered in unlawful reentry charges – in fact, nearly half of all offenders sentenced in federal court between the years 1992 and 2012 occurred due to unlawful reentry convictions. In 1992, there were only 690 unlawful reentry convictions; in 2012, there were more than 19,000, a 28-fold increase.
Research suggests that the large increase may be a result of changes in Border Control Policies. Operation Streamline, a policy that was introduced in 2005 and requires the prosecution and imprisonment of people who cross the border unlawfully, has resulted in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement no longer releasing immigrants detained while crossing.
In addition to illegal reentry, other causes of conviction are illegal entry, alien smuggling, and visa fraud.
Arrests Concentrated in the South
It should come as no surprise that the increase in federal immigration arrests is concentrated in the southern hemisphere of the United States. Those states that have seen the biggest upswing in federal immigration arrests include New Mexico, California, Arizona, and Texas, the four of which accounted for 60 percent of all federal arrests in the year 2012.
Does the punishment fit the crime?
Traditionally, federal convictions have been reserved for those who commit heinous or egregious acts, like violent crimes or drug smuggling. Charging an illegal immigrant who crosses the border with a federal offense, many say, is a punishment that doesn’t fit the crime.
Unlawful reentry, visa fraud, and alien smuggling are all crimes that, while illegal, are admittedly nonviolent, and have been traditionally treated as civil offenses. Now, those who are detained and convicted for attempting to get into the country without a proper visa face long-lasting repercussions, including prison time.
Seek the Support of a Boston Immigration Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a federal immigration crime and are unsure of your rights or options, it is within your best interest to contact an immigration attorney as soon as possible. At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our attorneys will make sure that your rights under the law are protected, and will work tirelessly to advocate for you. Don’t try to fight a federal immigration charge on your own – call our offices now for a consultation at 617-722-0005.