Despite President Donald Trump's much vaunted plans to get rid of "bad hombres," gang members and drug traffickers as an urgent matter of national security, only five of the more than 4,000 people prosecuted in new immigration cases in February actually committed crimes that put public safety at risk, according to Justice Department data.
The Trump administration opened 4,301 immigration crime related prosecutions in February, down 7.4 percent from January. That's also 14.7 percent less than in the same month last year, according to a breakdown of figures from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).
The data reveals that the bulk of the new immigration cases (3,733) were initiated in courts that handle misdemeanors posing no danger to national security. Some cases may commence in these courts before being referred to a district court or higher.
The most common charge was for illegal entry to the United States—“entry of alien at improper time or place"—representing 48.8 percent of the cases.
The second most common charge was for re-entry into the country after being deported: amounting to 43.6 percent of the cases.
Only five immigrants were charged with offenses involving a firearm or other dangerous criminal act in February, accounting for 0.1 percent of the total immigration cases that were opened.
Despite Trump's harsh rhetoric against undocumented immigrants, prosecutions against these migrants for this type of charge declined 51.7 percent in February compared to the same month in 2016, according to TRAC data.
Compared to five years ago, charges for these types of crimes plummeted 46.2 percent.
Of the top 10 charges, the next most serious is "conspiracy to commit an offense or defraud the United States," for which only four trials were initiated in February.
Immigration convictions show a similar pattern:
An analysis of sentencing data in immigration cases in February also showed a low number of serious crimes. Out of 4,198 judgments, 61 percent were for petty offenses.
Again, the main cause was entry into the country at an "inappropriate time or place," with 70.2 percent of the cases, and the second the reentry to the United States after being deported, with 29 percent.