Cooperation of SCAAP Recipients in the Removal of Criminal Aliens from the United States (Redacted)

Audit Report 07-07
January 2007
Office of the Inspector General

Chapter 4 – Recidivism of Criminal Aliens Released from Local Custody

The third congressional question asked us to determine how many criminal offenses were committed by criminal aliens who were released from local custody without a referral to DHS for removal from the United States.

To address this question, we performed limited testing to determine the number of subsequent arrests of criminal aliens who were released from state or local custody. We based our testing on information from the vetted FY 2004 SCAAP database, which was the last year when ICE reported to BJA on the status of every person identified in support of applications for SCAAP funding.57 The vetted database included 262,105 criminal histories.

NCIC Query

We requested assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to have the vetted FY 2004 SCAAP database compared to arrest data in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC).58

The FBI ran two queries, one for SCAAP records that included an FBI number, and another for those records that lacked an FBI number. For the latter group, the FBI queried NCIC using the name and date of birth for each individual listed in the vetted data.

The FBI provided us with nearly 433,000 individual text files that were not searchable by automated means. Because the files were not in a searchable format, we were not able to quantify all the arrests that occurred subsequent to the cutoff date for FY 2004 funding, June 30, 2003. Instead, we reviewed a judgmental sample of 100 criminal histories for evidence of arrests of individuals subsequent to the time when their incarceration was used to support an application for SCAAP funding.

We sampled 53 from records that had FBI numbers and 47 from records that lacked such numbers.59 The criminal histories for 73 individuals documented at least one arrest after June 30, 2003. Those 73 individuals accounted for a total of 429 arrests based on 878 charges and included 241 convictions. These figures represent an average of nearly six arrests per individual.

The charges for the 73 individuals ranged from traffic violations and trespassing to more serious crimes, such as burglary or assault. Some of those charges included:

Based on this limited sample, we cannot statistically extrapolate the number of offenses committed by undocumented criminal aliens who were released from local custody without a referral to ICE. Based on the information available to us in the criminal histories, we could not determine the number of the criminal aliens in our sample that were deported, if any, and later arrested after reentering the United States. We also could not determine if ICE was notified before the criminal aliens in our sample were released from custody. But if this data is indicative of the full population of nearly 262,105 criminal histories, the rate at which released criminal aliens are rearrested is extremely high.

  1. FY 2004 SCAAP funding was based on the incarceration of criminal aliens between July 1, 2002, and June 30, 2003.

  2. NCIC is a computerized database of criminal justice information available to law enforcement agencies nationwide. The NCIC database consists of millions of records arranged in 18 files, including one relating to immigration violators.

  3. This number is issued by the FBI to track arrests and fingerprint records.

  4. The “terrorist threat” cases related to misdemeanor charges based on domestic disputes.

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