In proclaiming a national emergency at the southern border, president Donald Trump spoke of an “invasion” through “all varieties of criminals and also gangs.” He suggested that the media “take a look in ~ our commonwealth prison population” and also “see how many of them, percentage-wise, room illegal aliens.”

But the misleading to look just at the federal prison population, because state prisons and also local jails house about 90 percent of the full U.S. Incarcerated population.

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We looked at the obtainable data for the entire prison population.

About 17 percent of individuals in the custody that the commonwealth Bureau the Prisons and also the U.S. Marshals service were shown to be in the U.S. Illegally, according to federal data together of Dec. 31, 2017. However less 보다 6 percent of inmates at the federal, state and local level in 2016 to be in the U.S. Illegally, according to one independent estimate based upon Census office data.

Besides, the portion of all noncitizens in commonwealth prison is inflated by the number of individuals charged with or judge of committing federal immigration crimes.

An immigrant violation, such as unlawful entry or reentry right into the U.S., was the primary offense because that 29 percent the the “known or suspected” noncitizens in BOP custody, according to federal government data as of the end of 2017. That the shown noncitizens in USMS custody in ~ the time, 56 percent were charged through a main offense related to immigration.

Trump’s statement about federal prisons came during the Feb. 15 press conference in which he claimed a national emergency at the U.S. Border v Mexico.

CNN’s cook White home correspondent, Jim Acosta, said Trump the “a the majority of crime data out there” present “undocumented immigrant committing crime at reduced levels than native-born Americans.” (We have actually written that countless studies have found that immigrants, regardless of legitimate status, nothing commit crimes at a greater rate than nonimmigrants, and that higher concentrations of immigrants don’t command to greater rates that violent crime.)

But trump card rejected those facts and advised Acosta to “take a look at our commonwealth prison population.”

Here’s your exchange, in full:

Acosta, Feb. 15: give thanks to you, Mr. President. Ns wonder if friend could comment on this disconnect that us seem to have actually in this country, whereby you are presenting information about what’s happening at the border — calling the an “invasion,” talking around women v duct ice cream over your mouths, and also so ~ above — and yet there’s a many reporting the end there, yes sir a many crime data the end there, yes a many Department the Homeland defense data out there that reflects border crossings at a near-record short —

Trump: That’s because of us. But it’s still —

Acosta: — that shows undocumented immigrant committing crime at lower levels —

Trump: forgive me. It’s still massive numbers of crossings.

Acosta: — that reflects undocumented criminal — or undocumented immigrants committing crime at lower levels than native-born Americans. What carry out you speak —

Trump: You don’t really think that stat, execute you? do you really believe that stat?

Acosta: What execute you — well, allow me ask you this —

Trump: take a look in ~ our federal prisons.

Acosta: I believe in facts and statistics and also data, but —

Trump: Okay? any type of more? Quick, let’s go.

Acosta: allow me just ask friend this: What carry out you say come your critics who say the you are creating a national emergency, the you’re concocting a national emergency here in bespeak to obtain your wall surface because friend couldn’t get it through various other ways?

Trump: ns ask the angel Moms: What do you think? do you think I’m producing something?

Ask these incredible women, who shed their daughters and their sons. Okay?

Participant: This is real.

Trump: due to the fact that your question is a very political question since you have an agenda. You’re CNN. She fake news. You have an agenda. The numbers that you gave are wrong.

Take a look at our commonwealth prison population. See how countless of them, percentage-wise, space illegal aliens. Simply see. Walk ahead and also see.

This wasn’t the an initial time Trump stated the percentage of federal detainees in the U.S. Illegally. On Jan. 12, that tweeted, “23% of commonwealth inmates are illegal immigrants.”

That number is exaggeration — and misleading — follow to easily accessible data.

Incarcerated Noncitizens

On Jan. 25, 2017, trump card signed an executive, management order request the lawyer general and secretary of the room of Homeland protection to “collect relevant data and administer quarterly reports” top top the immigration standing of every noncitizens incarcerated under the supervision that the federal Bureau of Prisons, incarcerated as federal pretrial detainees under the supervision that the U.S. Marshals Service, and also those incarcerated in state prisons and also local detention centers.

The an initial report, because that the fourth quarter of budget year 2017, was published in December 2017. The second report, because that the very first quarter of budget 2018, was published in June 2018.

The latter report claims that, as of Dec. 30, 2017, about 21 percent, or 38,132, that the 183,058 complete individuals in BOP custody were either “known or suspected” to it is in “aliens,” or noncitizens. However just 13 percent that BOP inmates were shown to have actually unlawful status, including 23,826 individuals who were subject to a final removal stimulate or were in remove proceedings. On top of that, 11,698 were still being investigated to identify their status, and also the various other 2,608 either had lawful status or had actually been granted relief from deportation.

In addition, the report includes a break down of the individuals in the custody of the Marshals Service, i beg your pardon houses and transports every federal detainees from the moment they enter federal custody till they room either acquitted or convicted and also placed in BOP custody.

Of the 53,141 full individuals in USMS custody at the end of 2017, 19,688, or 37 percent, were shown to it is in noncitizens, and 15,418, or 29 percent, that the full USMS population were well-known to it is in in the nation illegally. The report claims that the immigration condition of second 3,838 people was still gift investigated, while the other 432 either immigrated legitimate or to be the recipients of relief indigenous removal.

So, combined, about 17 percent of every one of the individuals in the custody that BOP and also USMS were confirmed to be life in the U.S. Illegally, as of Dec. 31, 2017, the data show.

Still, it’s misleading, as Trump did, to emphasis on just the commonwealth prison population when the overwhelming bulk of inmates space incarcerated in state prisons and also local jails.

The justice Department acknowledged the limitations of its most recent incarceration report in a press release, saying: “This report go not include data on the alien populaces in state prisons and also local jails because state and local framework do no routinely provide DHS or DOJ with comprehensive information about their inmates and detainees — which account for approximately 90 percent that the total U.S. Incarcerated population.”

The recent data native the office of justice Statistics indicate that, as of Dec. 31, 2016, non-U.S. Citizens made up virtually 5.5 percent of the approximated 1.5 million detainees under the jurisdiction that state and federal correctional authorities. Yet that figure is additionally problematic, together the BJS notes, because “five states — California, Nevada, brand-new Hampshire, north Dakota, and also Oregon — did not report counts and some says likely detailed undercounts, in part because the meaning of non-U.S. Citizens varied throughout states.”

It likewise does not include the number of noncitizens organized in exclusive prison infrastructure or neighborhood jails under the jurisdiction the state correctional authorities. Plus, the BJS report no say how countless noncitizen prisoners in federal, state and also local custody had actually legal condition or not.

At the finish of 2016, the full incarcerated population, including federal, state and also local prisoners, was roughly 2.16 million, follow to another BJS estimate.

The recent DOJ/DHS quarterly report says those departments “are proceeding to develop and also establish methodologies and also procedures the will allow them come collect, estimate, and also analyze specific data regarding the affect of aliens on windy safety and also criminal justice in ~ the state and also local levels.” yet there is at least one nationwide estimate already.

Alex Nowrasteh, a an elderly immigration plan analyst at the Cato Institute’s center for worldwide Liberty and also Prosperity, and Michelangelo Landgrave, a doctoral college student in political scientific research at the college of California, Riverside, produced what they stated is the an initial nationwide calculation of incarceration prices by immigration standing in federal, state and also local correctional facilities. Their first policy short on the topic, i beg your pardon was based on the Census Bureau’s American ar Survey data top top inmates between the ages of 18 and also 54, was released in in march 2017. One updated version of that short was published in June 2018.

Their many recent quick says, “an estimated 1,955,951 native-born Americans, 117,994 illegal immigrants, and 43,618 legal immigrants were incarcerated in 2016.” the would typical that much less than 6 percent of all incarcerated persons were in the U.S. Illegally.

In addition, Nowrasteh and also Landgrave concluded that immigrants in the country, both legally and illegally, are less likely to it is in incarcerated than U.S.-born citizens.

“The incarceration rate for native-born Americans to be 1,521 every 100,000, 800 every 100,000 for illegal immigrants, and also 325 per 100,000 because that legal immigrant in 2016,” their brief says. “Illegal immigrants room 47 percent much less likely to it is in incarcerated than natives. Legal immigrants room 78 percent much less likely to be incarcerated 보다 natives. If native-born Americans were incarcerated at the same rate as illegal immigrants, around 930,000 fewer natives would be incarcerated. Whereas if natives to be incarcerated in ~ the same rate as legit immigrants, around 1.5 million fewer natives would be in adult correctional facilities.”

Primary Offenses

Furthermore, spring at simply the percentage of federal inmates who space in the country illegally doesn’t provide any insight into why those people are incarcerated.

For plenty of of the noncitizens in federal custody, an immigrant violation is the most serious violation they have actually been charged with or judge of committing. (Close come half, or 45 percent, the the 151,460 federal arrests in budget year 2016 were for immigration-related offenses, according to the many recent data from the office of justice Statistics.)

In fact, the last DOJ/DHS report claimed that “approximately 29 percent (10,912) of recognized or doubt aliens in BOP custody had actually committed immigrant offenses (such together illegal reentry after ~ deportation or human being trafficking) together their primary offense.” that was second to medicine trafficking or various other drug-related offenses, which was the main offense the 46 percent that the well-known or suspected noncitizens in BOP custody. One more 8 percent to be categorized under “other,” i beg your pardon “is composed generally of individuals awaiting trial.” The most usual primary offenses linked with the “other” category were medicine trafficking-related and also immigration offenses.

After that, the report said around 4 percent committed fraud together their primary offense, one more 4 percent committed weapons offenses (including guns offenses), 3 percent cursed racketeering and continuing criminal companies offenses (including murder because that hire), and also 2 percent cursed obscene materials offenses (such as manufacturing or circulation of kid pornography) or other sex offenses.

“Other major offenses cursed by smaller numbers of well-known or doubt aliens in BOP custody included kidnapping, murder, larceny, terrorism, escape, bribery and extortion, rape, and other offenses,” the report said.


As for those in USMS custody, approximately 56 percent to be in custody because that a primary offense pertained to immigration, while roughly 24 percent were being detained because that drug-related offenses.

“Other main offenses,” the report says, “included violate of problems of supervision (974 individuals, approximately five percent the aliens in USMS custody), home offenses (889 individuals, roughly five percent the aliens in USMS custody), tools offenses, and violent offenses (391 and 378 individuals, respectively, each about two percent of aliens in USMS custody).” material witnesses accounted for an additional 4 percent the those in USMS custody, the report says.

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So, removed the immigration offenders, assuming they had actually committed no various other crimes, would reduced the percentage of noncitizens in federal prison.