The former Immigration and Naturalization Service estimated that as of January 2000 the total unauthorized immigrant population residing in the United States was 7 million. This total includes those who entered the United States illegally and those who entered legally but overstayed their authorized period of stay.
A more recent study estimated that there were about 10 million illegal aliens living in the United States as of March 2005. The study estimated that nearly 700,000 aliens entered the United States illegally or overstayed their authorized period of stay each year between 2000 and 2004. Some experts believe this is a overly conservative figure and that illegal immigrants number close to 20 million.
At the same time, after a steady annual reduction in crime, the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report reveals a slow but sure yearly increase in crime, especially violent crime. Some criminologists attribute the rise in crime to illegal aliens who come into the United States with a criminal background.
Many illegal aliens in the United States have been arrested and incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails, adding to already overcrowded prisons and jails. The US Justice Department issued a report on criminal aliens who are incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails.
The report contained information on the number of criminal aliens incarcerated, their country of citizenship or country of birth, and the cost to incarcerate them. Congress also requested that the Government Accounting Office provide information on the criminal history of aliens incarcerated in federal and state prisons or local jails who had entered the country illegally.
In the population study of a sample of 55,322 illegal aliens, researchers found that they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien. Nearly all had more than 1 arrest. Thirty-eight percent (about 21,000) had between 2 and 5 arrests, 32 percent (about 18,000) had between 6 and 10 arrests, and 26 percent (about 15,000) had 11 or more arrests. Most of the arrests occurred after 1990.
They were arrested for a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses, averaging about 13 offenses per illegal alien. One arrest incident may include multiple offenses, a fact that explains why there are nearly one and half times more offenses than arrests. Almost all of these illegal aliens were arrested for more than 1 offense. Slightly more than half of the 55,322 illegal aliens had between 2 and 10 offenses.
About 45 percent of all offenses were drug or immigration offenses. About 15 percent were property-related offenses such as burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and property damage. About 12 percent were for violent offenses such as murder, robbery, assault, and sex-related crimes.
The balance was for such offenses as traffic violations, including driving under the influence; fraud --including forgery and counterfeiting; weapons violations; and obstruction of justice.
Eighty percent of all arrests occurred in three states--California, Texas, and Arizona. Specifically, about 58 percent of all arrests occurred in California, 14 percent in Texas, and 8 percent in Arizona.
Sources: Government Accounting Office, US Department of Justice, National Security Institute
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.