Deported Criminals Return: A “Turnstile” Arizona Border?


The U.S. has stepped up efforts to deport as many criminals as possible, but many are able to slip back into the country, the Arizona Republic reports. Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not track how many deported criminals are re-captured inside the U.S. Some when they do come back commit more crimes, such as last month’s killing of a Phoenix police officer. The Border Patrol in Arizona has seen an increase in the number of arrests involving criminals, bolstering the idea that the border has become a turnstile for deported criminals. Arizona is the main gateway for unauthorized border crossings.

Background checks by the Border Patrol’s Tucson sector turned up illegal border crossers with previous criminal convictions or wanted on outstanding arrests warrants 38,864 times through August. The numbers do not reflect individuals, but rather the number of “hits” for crimes ranging from DUI to homicide. That is up 13 percent from previous fiscal year. The government deported nearly 90,000 criminals last fiscal year under an aggressive new policy. That was a 25 percent increase from the 70,853 deported in fiscal year 2001. The number of criminals deported so year has not kept pace with steady increases over the five previous years. Through August, the government had deported 75,569 criminals.


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