Criminal prosecutions resulting from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigations plummeted the last five years of Barack Obama’s presidency.
The number of new ICE prosecutions dropped from a high of 21,662 in 2011 to 12,761 in 2016, according to data Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) released Monday.
A majority of ICE prosecutions in 2016 (53.2 percent) were for immigration offenses — illegally re-entering the country, illegally smuggling people into the country and illegally harboring illegal aliens — followed by drug offenses (30.6 percent).
Those figures don’t include criminal prosecutions from referrals made by two other immigration offices — Customs and Border Protection and Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Prosecutions from ICE investigations consistently increased each year from 2006 to 2011, then declined each year after, TRAC found. (RELATED: Immigration Backlog Higher Than Ever As Trump Wins Presidency)
TRAC obtained the data through Freedom of Information Act requests to the Executive Office for United States attorneys. TRAC compiles data from federal agencies on criminal prosecutions and federal courts. (RELATED: Judges Give ‘Defacto Amnesty’ To 1/3 Of Illegals Charged With Crimes)
Obama’s stance on illegal immigration, arguably, helped propel President Donald Trump to the White House. Trump promised to strengthen immigration enforcement and build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, although White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not establish a timeline for building the wall in his first official briefing Monday.
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