[JURIST] The US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) [official website] on Thursday released a report [text, PDF] finding that a significant portion of federal law enforcement resources were directed to immigration-related offenses. The analysis showed that half of all federal arrests in 2014 [summary, PDF] were related to immigration, with 61 percent of them occurring in five districts along US-Mexico border. BJS also found that 17 percent of offenders released in 2012 went back to federal prison within three years, that federal arrests were down 12 percent in 2014, and that only 3 percent of defendants received a bench or jury trial that year.
Immigration has been a particular focus of US President Donald Trump [official website], culminating in lawsuits challenging [JURIST report] his controversial executive orders affecting migrants. In January, seven days after his inauguration, Trump issued an immigration-related executive order [text], which limited migration from seven Muslim-majority countries, among other changes. A lower court order blocking enforcement of that order was upheld [JURIST report] in February by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website]. An amended executive order [text], issued in early March, was also blocked by district courts in Hawaii and Maryland [JURIST report]. Additional challenges to the revised policy are pending, including one brought by Washington and joined [JURIST report] by California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon. These policies have been criticized as part of a larger overhaul of the country’s approach to immigration undertaken by the new administration, largely departing [JURIST op-ed] from the policies of other post-WWII presidents.