NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Prosecutions Jump At INS

July 26, 1999

The Immigration and Naturalization Service doubled the number of prosecutions it launched between 1992 and 1998, a major factor in the sharpest annual rise in federal prosecutions since 1971.

The analysis, based on Justice Department data, comes from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which is affiliated with Syracuse University.

  • The INS now ranks second in convictions among federal law enforcement agencies, following the FBI.
  • Annual INS prosecutions rose from 7,335 in 1992 to 14,616 in 1998.
  • The length of prison sentences jumped significantly from an average of two months in 1992 to 12 months last year.
  • Overall, there were 82,071 federal prosecutions in 1998.

An INS spokesman attributes the increased numbers to more sources, enhanced technology, improved efficiencies and increased emphasis on immigrations-related cases at the Justice Department.

The future structure of the agency is currently being debated on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers critical of the agency want it completely revamped, while the Clinton administration wants to reorganize it to more clearly delineate enforcement and service functions.

Source: Marjorie Valbrun, "Beefed-Up Enforcement by INS Leads to Doubling to Convictions, Study Says," Wall Street Journal, July 26, 1999.


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