(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune File Photo) Melodia Gutierrez uses a loud speaker as she leads hundreds of opponents to immigration legislation last year -- one of the Utah legislative session's most volatile topics. This year, a commission has recommended no action on immigration legislation. The rally in the photo took place in March, as immigration bills awaited action by Gov. Gary Herbert.

Utah now among top 10 states for immigration prosecutions

Courts » Utah is ranks 10th, far behind leaders Texas and Arizona.


First Published May 10 2013 10:38 am
Last Updated May 12 2013 11:07 pm

Utah is among the top 10 states for immigration prosecutions for the first time ever, though its case count is a sliver of that in leading states Texas and Arizona.

Utah ranks 10th in immigration prosecutions with 135 cases filed in U.S. District Court for Utah during the first six months of fiscal year 2013, according to the report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. Utah ranked 13th a year ago.

The Southern District of Texas in Houston topped the list with 17,022 prosecutions, while the Western District of Texas in San Antonio ranked second with 13,379 prosecutions. Arizona, with 11,476, is listed third.

Those three courts have been at the top of the list for the past five years, according to the report, which is based on Justice Department data.

TRAC found that the lead charge in more than half the cases was "entry of an alien at improper time or place." The second most common violation was "reentry of a deported alien."

Nationwide, there have been 50,468 new immigration prosecutions filed so far. If filings continue at that pace, the total prosecutions for the year will top 100,000, a nearly 10 percent increase over the previous year.

Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection division accounted for 73 percent of the case referrals.

brooke@sltrib.com

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