Here are the FACTS:
He also said that illegal immigrants were “an increasing part of America’s prison population.”
“Here are the facts, according to the Department of Justice:
- In 2000, 27 percent of the inmates in federal prisons were noncitizens. Some of these noncitizens were illegal immigrants, and some were in this country legally. In 2001, this percentage dropped to 24 percent, and it continued dropping over the next four years, falling to 20 percent in 2005.
Bottom line: illegal immigrants make up significantly less than a third of the federal prison population, and the share has been falling in recent years.
- The share of state prison inmates who are noncitizens is much lower. (This is largely because immigration violations themselves are federal crimes.) In 2000, 4.6 percent of inmates in state prisons were noncitizens. This number remained quite steady over the next five years, right around 4.6 percent.
- Over all — combining federal and state prisons — 6.4 percent of the nation’s prisoners were noncitizens in 2005. This is down from 6.8 percent in 2000.
By comparison, 6.9 percent of the total United States population were noncitizens in 2003, according to the Census Bureau.
Anne Morrison Piehl, an economist at Rutgers, says there are a number of reasons that immigrants have a lower crime rate than the native-born population. (To read a paper by Ms. Piehl and Kristin Butcher on immigrants and crime, click here.)”