The Department of Justice on Thursday, Oct. 17, announced that the number of immigration-related offenses in fiscal year 2019 is at an all-time high, as opposed to what appears to be a declining trend in recent years.
Newly announced figures by the DOJ show that 25,426 people were charged by U.S. attorneys with felony illegal re-entry in fiscal year 2019, an increase from 23,425 in 2018 and 16,965 in fiscal year 2017.
The surge was reported to be in prosecutions for misdemeanor improper entry, where numbers have gone up to 80,886 prosecutions this year, an 18.1 percent increase. The number for 2017 was merely 36,649, Fox News reported.
There were 4,297 cases of “alien smuggling” were documented, an increase from 3,724 in fiscal year 2018 and 3,310 in fiscal year 2017. Whereas in 2014, only 2,762 people faced charges for alien smuggling.
In a statement, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen commended U.S. attorneys for their dedication.
“These record-breaking numbers are a testament to the dedication of our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout the nation, especially our Southwest border offices,” Rosen said. “In addition to the usual workload of each case the department prosecutes, this effort was made possible after our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices restored essential partnerships with national, state, and local law-enforcement partners.”
Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan said earlier this month that there are an increasing number of migrant families reaching the U.S.-Mexico border, more than ever before.
“CBP’s enforcement actions on our southwest border totaled nearly 1 million in fiscal year 2019. This is a staggering 88% higher than the number of enforcement actions in 2018,” Morgan said. “These numbers are numbers that no immigration system in the world is designed to handle, including ours.”
A heavy burden has been imposed on the U.S. immigration court system, with record-high numbers of migrant families immediately seeking asylum upon contact with a Border Patrol agent. According to the Daily Caller, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) closed upward of 275,000 cases for fiscal year 2019, marking it as the second highest number of completions in the agency’s entire history.
Immigration enforcement agency leaders also fought against the establishment of “sanctuary cities,” or jurisdictions that refuses to comply with immigration enforcement authorities to detain illegal aliens, according to Fox News.
The announcement from the DOJ was released one week following the EOIR’s completion of its review of 275,000 cases, and the numbers are nearly double the number of cases completed in fiscal year 2016, Fox News reports.