Immigration-related crimes made up half of all federal law enforcement arrests in 2014, according to a new Department of Justice report released Thursday.
Immigration offenses accounted for more than 81,000 of the 165,256 arrests made by federal authorities in 2014, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found in its study. Nearly two-thirds of the total number of federal arrests occurred in the five jurisdictions that sit along the U.S.-Mexican border.
The report further found those arrested along the U.S. southern border to be more likely than those arrested in any other region in the country to return to federal prison within three years of release.
“These statistics make it clear that immigration-related offenses along the United States border with Mexico account for an enormous portion of the federal government’s law enforcement resources and that we must enforce our immigration laws in a way that consistently deters future violations,” Justice Department spokeswomen Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement Thursday.