Newly Released Data Shows Significant Illegal Immigrant Prison Population

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Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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Nearly half of the foreign-born inmates in federal prisons are subject to deportation, according to figures released Tuesday by the Department of Justice.

The Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security are required to release quarterly reports on the immigration status of imprisoned immigrants and those awaiting trial, due to an executive order from President Trump.

The DOJ and DHS were able to collect complete data on federal inmates, however, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is still analyzing information on federal pretrial detainees and the DOJ is creating a system in order to collect the immigration statuses of inmates in state and local prisons.

The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) provided data to ICE, which found that there are 45,493 foreign-born inmates, as of March 25. Of these foreign-born inmates just 3,939 — eight percent — are citizens, while nearly ninety percent of them, 41,554, are non-citizens.

The figures go on to show that 22,541, 54.2 percent, of these non-citizens have orders issued for their deportation. Using a cost estimate from Fiscal Year 2014, the U.S. will spend in 2017 an estimated $690 million housing illegal immigrant federal prisoners and an estimated $1.2 billion on non-citizen federal inmates in general.

“Illegal aliens who commit additional crimes in the United States are a threat to public safety and a burden on our criminal justice system,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “This is why we must secure our borders through a wall and effective law enforcement, and we must strengthen cooperation between federal, state and local governments as we strive to fulfill our sacred duty of protecting and serving the American people.

These figures show that illegal immigrants made up 11.9 percent of all federal inmates, as of March 25. While non-citizen inmates were 21.9 percent of the federal prison population. The BOP statistics go on to state that the all but .1 percent of the other non-citizen inmates are either under ICE investigation for possible removal, or are in current removal proceedings and have yet to receive a final decision.