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Cross-posted from Critical Mass Progress:

According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, Latinos comprise the new majority of those sentenced to federal prison during the first three quarters of 2011. Felony immigration crimes accounted for most of the increase. Latinos comprise about 16 percent of the U.S. population.

From Immigration Prof Blog:

   [A] new government report shows that more than half of all people sent to federal prison for felonies this year were Hispanic. For the first time, Hispanics made up the majority all federal felony offenders sentenced in the first nine months of fiscal year 2011, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Hispanics comprised 50.3 percent of all people sentenced in that time period, blacks 19.7 percent and whites 26.4 percent. Hispanics make up about 16 percent of the U.S. population.

    The statistics reveal that felony immigration crimes, which include illegal crossing and other crimes such as alien smuggling, were responsible for most of the increase in the number of Hispanics sent to prison over the last decade.

The Third Quarter FY11 Quarterly Sentencing Update can be downloaded from the U.S. Sentencing Commission here.

I have to keep this short and sweet as I have to tend to other things.  But this is staggering data as families continue to be affected by a broken immigration system and draconian, inhumane immigration policies.

Originally posted to seeta08 on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 08:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by Criminal InJustice Kos Community and LatinoKos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The criminalization of immigration (10+ / 0-)

    of people of color - a travesty and nightmare of stunning proportion.  

    seeta, thank you for this heads up.  

    As has always been the case in the U.S. criminal legal system - and before that, the colonial legal system – race is central to the construction of imprisonment/incarceration.

    And until we face, confront, and deconstruct that, no deep form of racial justice is possible - or so I believe.  

    Teach us to listen to sounds larger than our own heartbeat; that endure longer than our own weeping in the dark. - Lillian Smith

    by RadioGirl on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 09:06:43 AM PDT

    •  yes, and the anti-immigration (7+ / 0-)

      sentiment is making itself known in some of the comments already.  thankfully, sparsely so far.  but it is revelatory.

      •  If I Get Caught Smuggling Illegal Immigrants (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unspeakable

        Into the U.S., what should happen to me in your opinion?

        If I get caught trying to enter the U.S. after having been deported, in the case of Texas up to eight times, what should happen to me in your opinion?

        "There Is No Legal Path For Mexicans"

        Two Random Responses On The Subject Of Illegal Immigration

        broken immigration system and draconian, inhumane immigration policies

        I don't believe the U.S. immigration system is broken, and I don't think that U.S. immigration policies are inhumane, does that make me 'anti-immigration'?

        I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

        by superscalar on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 09:57:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you believe that the current immigration (6+ / 0-)

          system is humane, efficient, and effective even in light of these recent figures, then there's no point engaging you.  If, in your mind, incarceration is an effective deterrent for "illegal" border crossings, notwithstanding the continuation of such, then so be it.  

          In the meantime, financial and social costs go up to house non-violent offenders in federal prison, splitting up and harming families.  It serves no one -- not the immigrant, not the family, not federal and local economies, and not society at large.

          And yes, current immigration policies are draconian and  inhumane.  If you don't believe that, then you are not well-informed on this topic.  Perhaps spend some time researching the latest anti-immigration laws that have sprouted across the country.   The AL law being the most draconian to date.    I should note that it is currently being litigated for its unconstitutionality.  Perhaps you are versed in these laws and don't care.   That's a shame.

          Good day.

          •  I Didn't Ask You To Engage Me (0+ / 0-)

            If you believe that the current immigration system is humane, efficient, and effective even in light of these recent figures, then there's no point engaging you

            On the subject of federal U.S. immigration law and whether or not it is 'draconian and inhumane'. I don't believe it is, and with all respect I don't think you can make a rational case that it is.

            I asked two simple questions.

            1.) What do you think should happen to me if I get caught trying to smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S.?

            2.) What do you think should happen to me if I get caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally for the eighth time after already having been formally deported?

            They're simple questions.

            I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

            by superscalar on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 10:50:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  These questions are simplistic, not simple (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ThisIsMyTime, Avila, YucatanMan

              -- devoid of context.  You completely disregard the data cited above.  I will repeat for you since you apparently lack close reading skills: Latinos now constitute the majority of those sentenced to federal prison for all felony convictions (i.e., not just immigration-related ones), most of which are non-violent offenses.  So, your myopic focus on border crossings is misplaced.  

              Further, if you do a little research, you will see that the threat of prison time does nothing to deter border crossings.   Several orgs, including the ACLU have found that federal prosecutions don't work.  Rather than deterring migration—increased enforcement tends to cause immigrants to use more remote and treacherous crossing points and creates a market for smugglers and human traffickers.  Tightening border security rather than increasing dangers and burdening the judicial system would be preferable.

              I'm truly sorry that you feel the immigration system, in its current form, works.  All data indicates that it doesn't.

              Peace.

              •  I Didn't Focus On Illegal Immigration, You Did (0+ / 0-)

                So, your myopic focus on border crossings is misplaced

                In fact you put the tags, 'immigration', 'immigration reform' in your diary and this was the last paragraph of said diary

                I have to keep this short and sweet as I have to tend to other things.  But this is staggering data as families continue to be affected by a broken immigration system and draconian, inhumane immigration policies.

                Give the fact that you are talking about illegal immigration and federal incarceration, I naturally addressed federal incarceration  for smuggling and reentering the U.S. after having been deported -- silly me.

                All data indicates that it doesn't

                Opinions vary, and right now I think the opinion is running decidedly against you .

                I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

                by superscalar on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 11:23:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The bottom-line (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ThisIsMyTime, Avila, YucatanMan

                  is you didn't read the entire piece.  You want to focus on just tags.  Sure.  Go ahead.  Whatever floats your boat.  Clearly, you don't care to engage in a good faith discussion about the prison industrial complex or the immigration system.  It's unfortunate you think the system works.  It matters not to me that you believe I am wrong on this issue.  

                  Your position is regressive and history will judge you and your position accordingly.  It's not an issue that you need to concern with yourself about....yet.  I get it.

                  Your non-responsiveness, even after I've answered your "questions," speaks for itself.  Thanks for the non-exchange.  Perhaps next time, when your feeling a bit more constructive and open-minded, engaging you might be fruitful.

                  I appreciate the questions, nonetheless, and the opportunity to respond.  Further, I'm interested less in your opinion, than I am with actual data.  

                  Enjoy your day.  I'm out.

            •  Simple question for you: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              seeta08

              What would you do to feed your family, if they were starving and there was no hope locally?  To what lengths would you go?

              What would you to to stay together with your family?  To what lengths would you go?

              Anyone can take a slice and try to make it the issue. The Issue is larger than just one aspect.

              You make a point of frequently attempting to derail discussion of Immigration issues with your anti-immigrant stance.  As seeta rightly notes, your questions are not simple, they are simplistic.

              You chose to ignore some aspects to focus on one area.

              You do not chose to bring up, for example, US trade policies that have decimated subsistence farmers due to our massive grain subsidies provided to Con-Agra, Archer-Daniels-Midland and others, once "free trade" agreements are instituted.

              It is, in effect, the policy of the US government to destroy the ability of many nation's farmers to make a living from their land.  This is not an opinion or a viewpoint or a theory, it is a documented fact.

              As a result, economically dislocated people attempt to seek a place to make a living, particularly where there is employment available for them.  The US government has decided to allow Capital and Goods to travel freely between nations, but limit Labor.  All three are vitally connected components of all economies. They cannot be split apart, regardless.

              These things and many more facets to the overall issue have been explained to you many times. But you chose not to listen to anyone and to simply continue, over and over, to attempt to derail discussion in immigration diaries.

              That's fine. We get that you have these opinions, but your simplistic behavior is an extreme irritant. And it is a longstanding pattern of behavior that is not conducive to beneficial discussions.

              Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

              by YucatanMan on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 11:55:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  revelatory, indeed. (6+ / 0-)

        This racism is always close to home, isn't it - in this case, right within the ranks of a purportedly progressive blog.  Imagine.  

        Teach us to listen to sounds larger than our own heartbeat; that endure longer than our own weeping in the dark. - Lillian Smith

        by RadioGirl on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 10:04:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  In 2005, latinos made up over 80% of illegally- (0+ / 0-)

    present immigrants, per npr.

    Unless that has changed drastically, latinos representing 50%ish of felony immigration violations actually UNDERrepresents them, right?

    "Organized Labor....keeping (unemployed) people from (poverty-wage) jobs since the 19th Century"

    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 09:13:50 AM PDT

  •  I'm glad they're cracking down on human smuggling. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA

    It's exploitative and dangerous.

    There are sympathetic people who illegally enter the country, but coyotes are not among them.  The coyotes exploit and endanger the people who are crossing the border for survival.

  •  Aren't illegal border crossers just deported? (0+ / 0-)

    They may get felony convictions as a pro forma matter, to give the government a basis for expedited deportation and barring them from future (legal) entrance, but are they actually put in prison?

    Let us resolutely study and implement the resolutions of the 46th Convention of the Democratic Party!

    by Rich in PA on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 09:25:45 AM PDT

    •  Hi Rich, no it is not pro forma (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Robinswing, Avila, Rich in PA, YucatanMan

      But thanks for the important question.  There has been a departure from what you mention, i.e., deportation for "illegal" crossing and a routine misdemeanor charge.  Repeat entries get a felony conviction and federal prison custody.  Hispanics are the new majority in federal prisons for all felony convictions (most of which are non-violent offenses), not just felonies related to immigration.  

      •  I'm all for imprisoning human traffickers... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        seeta08

        ...even if their "victims" are 100% happy with their services, but it does seem pointless to imprison people for illegal immigration itself.  We don't want people here because they allegedly represent a burden on our society, and then we hold them in the most burdensome-to-society manner imaginable!  I'm in the most anti-immigration 1% of Kossacks but if someone tries to come to the US illegally 100 times I'd just send them back 100 times.  

        Let us resolutely study and implement the resolutions of the 46th Convention of the Democratic Party!

        by Rich in PA on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 01:28:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It may be pointless but this administration has (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          seeta08

          raised felony convictions and deportations to the highest levels ever seen in this nation.

          Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

          by YucatanMan on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 11:57:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Wow...the injustice continues. This trend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seeta08, Avila

    is going to make a lot of evil people in the PIC wealthy and must be stopped.

    Thank you for sharing this seeta. Great work as always.

    ...We have many more issues that bind us together than separate us! 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by ThisIsMyTime on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 11:53:42 AM PDT

  •  thank you, seeta (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seeta08, blueness

    for this excellent, informative post.  outstanding work.  

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