Federal prosecutions reached a record high in the 2009 fiscal year, driven by a sharp increase in cases filed against immigration violators, the New York Times reports. The 169,612 federal cases were a jump of nearly 9 percent from the previous year, said Justice Department data analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse of Syracuse University.
Immigration prosecutions rose nearly 16 percent, and made up more than half of U.S. criminal cases. The Bush administration stepped up immigration enforcement, increasing Border Patrol agents and prosecutors, and started Operation Streamline, which relied on large-scale processing of plea deals in immigrant cases. While white-collar prosecutions take an average of 460 days and narcotics cases 333, immigration cases typically are disposed of in 2 days.