U.S. attorney resumes reporting on immigration enforcement but with some stat changes

Published: Monday, December 4, 2023 - 5:05am
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Public reports on immigration enforcement have been issued by the last two top federal prosecutors in Arizona.

U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino resumed the practice last year after a pause to change the office’s messaging after the Trump administration.

The format and frequency of the immigration enforcement stats released by federal prosecutors in Arizona have changed while Restaino has been in charge.

His latest quarterly report warns that the migrant smuggling case-count includes kingpins and young adults recruited with a promise of easy money.

Restaino has also added a new stat for drug prosecutions at ports of entry.

“It is different than we have reported it in the past because we tell our stories through statistics differently over time,” Restaino said.

Restaino’s report still counts the number of migrants charged with illegal entry and reentry.

But he has dropped his predecessor’s practice of detailing the criminal histories of those charged with the latter.

Restaino said most in a recent batch of prosecutions stemming from an enforcement surge on the Mexico border were of previously deported people.

The rare occasion when a never-deported migrant would be prosecuted is…

“If, say, someone presents some kind of a danger. Or almost, but not quite, commits an assault against a law enforcement officer. Those are the areas where we would put a consequence in place,” Restaino said.

Lawyers from the Homeland Security department have been working as special assistant U.S. attorneys as part of the enforcement surge.