One in four prisoners in federal custody is an alien, according to a new report from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.
That sounds bad enough, but it’s a low-ball figure because the report does not fully account for inmates at local jails and state prisons, which house roughly 90 percent of America’s incarcerated population. DOJ and DHS say they are rounding up those numbers.
Meantime, here are three salient facts from end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2018:
- 57,820 known or suspected aliens were in federal custody.
- Drug trafficking, not immigration violations, was the primary offense of aliens locked up by the Bureau of Prisons.
- The U.S. Marshals Service spent more than $134 million to house known or suspected aliens during the quarter. This, too, is a conservative tally, since the Bureau of Prisons’ much larger costs were not included.
Also missing are clear breakdowns of resident and illegal aliens, as well as comparative data from prior years.
But let’s not quibble. If it weren’t for President Donald Trump’s executive order to compile and release these quarterly reports, the American public would know even less about the impact and presence of criminal aliens in this country.
So, like border enforcement and national security, proper accounting remains a work in progress. As we all know, Rome wasn’t built (or overrun) in a day.