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Q: Ilegal immigrants in prison ( No Answer,   7 Comments )
Subject: Ilegal immigrants in prison
Category: Reference, Education and News > Current Events
Asked by: peacester-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 05 Dec 2005 23:00 PST
Expires: 06 Dec 2005 19:06 PST
Question ID: 602021
What percentage of the entire prison population in the US is comprised
of illegal immigrants?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Ilegal immigrants in prison
From: elids-ga on 06 Dec 2005 06:07 PST
It appears that it is 11%


Drug Offenses:	                            91,607	(53.4 %)
Weapons, Explosives, Arson:	            23,191	(13.5 %)
Immigration:	                            18,928	(11.0 %)
Robbery:	                             9,987	(5.8 %)
Burglary, Larceny, Property Offenses:	     6,838	(4.0 %)
Extortion, Fraud, Bribery:	             7,111	(4.1 %)
Homicide, Aggravated Assault, and Kidnapping Offenses:	5,377	(3.1 %)
Miscellaneous:	                                        4,242	(2.5 %)
Sex Offenses:	                                        1,813	(1.1 %)
Banking and Insurance, Counterfeit, Embezzlement:	  969	(0.6 %)
Courts or Corrections:	                                  708	(0.4 %)
Continuing Criminal Enterprise:	                          594	(0.3 %)
National Security:	                                  103	(0.1 %)
* Data calculated for those with offense-specific information available.


However I would question the data presented by this organization
because the total US inmate population is well over two  million
however, according to this Bureau of Prisons the total population of
inmates is 188,000. I'm inclined to believe they have an agenda of
some kind.
Subject: Re: Ilegal immigrants in prison
From: elids-ga on 06 Dec 2005 06:19 PST
Ohh Ok I get it, the second link reports all crimes in the US, so
there are well over 2 million crimes but about 188,000 inmates....
which kinda makes one wonder the facility contracts out the housing of
about 30% of inmates and they have 35,000 employees... that means they
have one employee for every inmate... Darn! I don't think I get that
kind of attention in a 5 star hotel! lol
Subject: Re: Ilegal immigrants in prison
From: elids-ga on 06 Dec 2005 06:21 PST
"one employee for every inmate..." should've read 'one employee for
every three inmates...'   geez
Subject: Re: Ilegal immigrants in prison
From: myoarin-ga on 06 Dec 2005 06:29 PST
That is just the Federal Bureau of Prison statistics:

I seem to remember that about 1% of the US population is incarcerated.
I don't know what that does to the statistics.
Regards, Myoarin
Subject: Re: Ilegal immigrants in prison
From: elids-ga on 06 Dec 2005 06:58 PST
Hi Myoarin, 

Yes that is exactly what I remembered reading... over two million in
prison... ohh ... I can be slow sometimes... FEDERAL... lol ok I get
it... thanx
Subject: Re: Ilegal immigrants in prison
From: elids-ga on 06 Dec 2005 08:25 PST
I was thinking about this, if a person commits several crimes the
greater crime would trump the others, so whatever else they did it
would be fair to say that those 18,928 people are all the imprisoned
illegals in the country. Since we have 2.3 million felons; of the
total population of inmates less than one percent is illegal.

Huh! considering the amount of noise they make about illegals and the
threat they pose, I would've thought it was much higher percentage
than that....  there you have it, politics at work again...

I could kick myself for not having picked up on this before... geez... lol
Subject: Re: Ilegal immigrants in prison
From: peacester-ga on 06 Dec 2005 18:47 PST
Thanks for the great tip. has a
good part of what I was after, though only for the federal system and
not all the states.  The way I see it, the 11% in prison for
immigration violations are all illegal migrants, but in addition, some
of the people that are in for other offenses must be illegal migrants
too.  Thus, the other table at this site may be more informative:

United States: 135,045 (71.8 %) 
Mexico: 31,845 (16.9 %) 
Colombia: 3,495 (1.9 %) 
Cuba: 1,733 (0.9 %) 
Dominican Republic: 3,432 (1.8 %) 
Other/Unknown: 12,537 (6.7 %) 
Since most of the citizens from other countries were probably not
extradited, I think this means that at least 25% of all inmates in the
federal system are illegal migrants, predominantly from Mexico.  If
you take the 11% of illegals in for immigration violations, you'r left
with 14% in for some pretty bad stuff.  This is quite surprising to
me, because I suspected that this was probably a trumped up figure.

Furthermore, I don't think the rest of your math is right in reaching
the "<1% of all US inmates are illegal migrants" conclusion, because
it assumes that very few of the prisoners in the state prisons are
illegal migrants.  In fact I know that in my own state of Arizona, a
significant fraction of state prisoners are indeed undocumented
migrants (see  There are
plenty of bad things you can do to get imprisoned in state jail that
are more serious than immigration violations, so the feds would not
take them away from the states.

So, although my intent was to dispell what I figured was hateful hype,
it looks like the problem of undocumented migrants committing serious
crimes in the US really does hold up to a cursory fact check.  This
won't make me stop going out to the desert to try to rescue a few of
the hundreds of people that are dying from thirst and heat every year
in our borderlands, but it will make me think more seriously about the
negative impacts of our immigration problems.

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