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Immigration Cases Flood Federal Courts

Immigration Cases Flood Federal Courts

Criminal immigration cases now make up the majority of federal prosecutions nationwide, so much that some federal prosecutors located near the border with Mexico have declined to prosecute more than a certain amount of nonviolent immigrants crossing the border each month. For instance, over the last two years in New Mexico, arrests of immigrants crossing the border have more than doubled. Due to resource limits, federal prosecutors essentially have to pick and choose from different areas of concern, which range from violent crime to drug trafficking to weapons violations to nonviolent border crossings. While drug mules and immigrants with extensive criminal histories face federal prosecution, many low-level, nonviolent offenders simply do not. In the state of New Mexico, when U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) investigate illegal re-entries, they refer them to the U.S. Attorney’s office. The federal court system places nonviolent offenders with no complicating factors in their cases on a fast track, which typically results in offenders being released with “time served” at their sentencing hearings after having served 30 to 45 days, on average. However, CBP apprehensions are far outpacing the criminal prosecutions at this point. While law enforcement authorities primarily treated illegal entry as a civil offense in the past, the number of federal criminal prosecutions rose dramatically during both the second Bush administration and the Obama administration. As a result, in fiscal year 2016, criminal prosecutions concerning illegal entry and related immigration violations have risen to 52% of all federal criminal prosecutions nationwide, or about 700,000 cases nationwide. Whether these increases in prosecution actually have deterred illegal border crossings is still unclear. While border crossings definitely have decreased in recent years, especially from Mexico, the number of refugees seeking asylum has increased. We are the California deportation defense lawyers whom you can turn to if you or a loved one are facing deportation proceedings, no matter what the reason may be. Regardless of the complexity or difficulty of the situation, Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. has the experience, knowledge, and skills to advocate on behalf of you and your family throughout the course of any deportation proceedings. Contact our office today and let us answer all of your questions about removal proceedings and advise you of the best strategies for handling your case.

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