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Non-U.S. Citizens in the Federal Criminal Justice System, 1998–2018

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2021

This report uses data from BJS’s Federal Justice Statistics Program to describe U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens prosecuted in U.S. district courts by type of offenses, sentences received for those offenses, and offender demographics. The report also describes the citizenship status of persons admitted to and held in federal prison at year-end by offense type, country of citizenship, and judicial district of commitment.

  • Of the 84,838 persons criminally charged in U.S. district courts in 2018, 49% were non-U.S. citizens.
  • The number of non-U.S. citizens charged in U.S. district courts with immigration offenses increased from 9,875 in 1998 to 32,888 in 2018.
  • About 86% of undocumented non-U.S. citizens charged in U.S. district courts were charged with immigration offenses in 2018.
  • In 2018, 76% of persons charged in federal district court with a drug offense were U.S. citizens and 24% were non-U.S. citizens.

Date Published: November 30, 2021