Illegal Immigration and the Effect on the Cj System

Topics: Immigration to the United States, Illegal immigration, Criminal justice Pages: 15 (5517 words) Published: April 7, 2013

Illegal Immigration and the effect on the CJ system






America is perceived the world over as the “Promised Land” where everything is possible. This lucrative perception leads many immigrants to seek diverse ways to enter this vast land of promise, with the aim of living the American dream. Illegal immigrants are considered the medium behind some of criminal activities perpetuated in America. Their participation in such criminal activity is prevalent in most criminal prosecutions and convictions, in state and federal criminal justice departments. The American criminal justice system has bared the brunt of illegal criminal activities, alleged to have been committed by illegal immigrants from neighboring countries especially Mexico, as the largest number of convicts who are incarcerated in American legal systems hail from Mexico.

The overwhelming rising numbers of illegal convicts in the state and federal correctional facilities cause serious financial strains on the state’s ability to function proactively. As most of the states financial resources are used to sustain the high number of illegal immigrants imprisoned in the state and federal facilities. Research indicates that illegal immigrants are a leading cause for concern for the justice department, as the rising number of illegal, criminal immigrants could ultimately become a threat to America’s national stability. The high cost of maintaining the illegal immigrants affects the state’s criminal justice systems financial ability to function effectively. The following thesis highlights the challenges that the criminal justice systems faces when dealing with the rising number of illegal immigrants, who are incarcerated due to their criminal activities.

Since I work for ICE, gathering data and information will be fairly easy. I will use various websites thru DHS and ICE, uncoupled with databases, without compromising my job of course, to show statistical data and the rising financial cost of fighting illegal immigration.


Legal immigration does have positive effects on America as they contribute to America’s economy; nevertheless illegal immigrants have effects on America as it contributes to high costs that are incurred by America in its criminal justice system (Anderson, 2010). This is because a large number of crimes in America are caused by illegal immigrants (Barkan, 2003). As such, instances where America imprisons criminal aliens that have been in the country either illegally or legally, in local, federal and state jails, the federal government bears all the costs (Briggs, 2003). In this case, the federal government bears costs to imprison criminal aliens in federal prisons and repay local and state governments for a fraction of their costs for imprisoning some (Capaldi, 2008). Nonetheless, though not all, criminal aliens illegally in through the Department of Justice’s State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) that are managed by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) (Brimelow, 2007). A number of local governments and state governments have stated anxiety about the effect aliens has on jails and prisons that are already crowded, as well as, the fact that the government refunds them only part of their costs of incarceration of criminal aliens (Cooper, 2008). At the federal plane, the number of criminal aliens imprisoned amplified from close to forty two thousand at the end of 2001 to close to forty nine thousand at the end of the calendar year 2004 which is a fifteen percent increase (Card, 2005). The percentage of the entire federal prisoners who are criminal aliens imprisoned at the end of the calendar year 2004 got identified as citizens of Mexico (Antonovich, 2012; Cull and Currasco, 2004). It is approximated that the federal cost of imprisoning and refunding funds to local and state governments under...
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