Immigration crimes, including illegal border crossings, now account for half of all arrests by federal agents, a doubling in just 11 years, according to the Justice Department.
Newly analyzed Bureau of Justice Statistics also show that 61 percent of those arrested are non-citizens.
And, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the numbers, arrests for other top crimes — weapons, drugs, fraud and parole violations — have dropped.
The unprecedented surge in immigration crimes parallels a period that saw several surges of illegal immigration into the United States across the Mexico border and the recent rise of Central American gang violence in the U.S.
"Half of the 165,265 total arrests made by the federal government in fiscal 2014 – the most recent year for which statistics are available – were for immigration-related offenses, such as crossing the border illegally or smuggling others into the United States. A decade earlier, immigration-related offenses accounted for 28 percent of all federal arrests," said Pew's Fact Tank.
Pew noted that the numbers don't include state-level arrests, which are most of all arrests.
Not surprisingly, as immigration crime has surged, so have the arrests by immigration police in the Department of Homeland Security. Homeland Security now accounts for 59 percent of the arrests, with Justice second at 35 percent.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org