The number of criminal immigration cases in the federal courts dropped for a fourth consecutive year, and the number of criminal defendants generally dropped 11 percent, reports the National Law Journal. An annual report from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said the number of defendants charged with immigration offenses declined by 8 percent to 21,995 in 2014. That was part of a 25 percent drop between 2010 and 2014.
More than three-quarters of immigration cases went through five border districts in California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, where caseloads are “staggering,” said Appeals Judge William Traxler Jr. of South Carolina, who chairs the executive committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference. The number of federal defendants charged with drug crimes, which made up nearly a third of all new criminal filings, dropped by 14 percent, from 29,094 in 2013 to 25,023 last year.There were 12,186 completed civil and criminal trials in 2014, down by 6 percent from 2013. The number of trials has decreased by 12 percent over the past five years.