Top Five Most-Crime-Ridden U.S. Judicial Districts All on Mexican Border

Terry Jeffrey, Townhall, August 4, 2010

When measured by the number of criminal defendants charged with federal crimes by U.S. attorneys, the top five U.S. judicial districts for fiscal 2009 were all on the U.S.-Mexico border.

In fact, these five judicial districts are the only five on the U.S.-Mexico border–covering its entire expanse from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.

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In the Southern District of Texas, which covers a stretch of border from Brownsville past Laredo, the U.S. attorney’s office filed criminal charges against 8,801 defendants in fiscal 2009. That gave that district the nation’s No. 1 ranking for most criminal defendants charged in 2009, according to data published in Table 1 of the United States Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Report for Fiscal Year 2009.

The 8,801 criminal defendants charged in the Southern District of Texas, in fact, was more than four times the 1,959 charged in the Southern District of New York (which includes Manhattan and the Bronx) and more than six times the 1,377 charged in the Eastern District of New York (which included Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island).

Following the Southern District of Texas as the No. 2 district in the nation for the most criminal defendants is the Western District of Texas, which covers the rest of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. The U.S. attorney here filed charges against 8,435 defendants in 2009.

Rounding out the top five are the districts for Southern California (5,554 defendants charged), Arizona (5,155) and New Mexico (3,769).

The 5,554 criminal defendants charged in Southern District of California–which includes San Diego and Imperial counties and covers the entire California stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border–was more than twice the 2,581 charged in the Central District of California, which includes the nearby Los Angeles metropolitan area, but does not touch the border.

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The United States Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Report for Fiscal Year 2009, compiled and released by President Barack Obama’s Justice Department, {snip} reveals that of the 81,577 defendants convicted in federal court in 2009, 26,538 were convicted in cases the Justice Department categorized as immigration cases. Another 26,399 were convicted in drug cases. That means 33 percent of federal convictions were in immigration cases and 32 percent in drug cases.

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Clearly, the surge in immigration crime and drug crime and the concentration of crime at the U.S.-Mexico border are inter-related.

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Top Ten U.S. Judicial Districts for 2009 by Criminal Defendants

Southern Texas–8,801

Western Texas–8,435

Southern California–5,554

Arizona–5,155

New Mexico–3,769

Central California–2,581

Southern Florida–2,514

Southern New York–1,959

Middle Florida–1,780

Eastern Virginia–1,485

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