Explaining Trump’s Tweet on Crimes by Immigrants

Twenty-two days into the longest government shutdown ever, President Trump continued to press his case for a border wall. His tweet on Saturday was crammed with statistics of which were either exaggerated or omitted important context.

Immigrant prison population

Mr. Trump’s figure for the percentage of unauthorized immigrants in federal prisons is usually exaggerated.

Out of the Bureau of Prisons’ total inmate population of 183,058 inside first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year, 21 percent were immigrants, both legal as well as undocumented, according to a government report. At least 13 percent of the total population, or 23,826 inmates, were inside country unlawfully. The immigration status of another 11,698 inmates was under investigation, while 2,608 inmates were lawful immigrants or had received relief coming from deportation.

The most common crimes committed by these immigrants were drug-related offenses (46 percent) as well as immigration offenses (29 percent).