Criminal Aliens:

INS' Investigative Efforts in the New York City Area

GGD-86-58BR: Published: Mar 10, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO obtained information concerning: (1) the estimated magnitude of the criminal alien population; (2) the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) investigative strategies and techniques; and (3) problems that the INS New York District Office faces in investigating and apprehending deportable criminal aliens.

GAO found that the number of deportable criminal aliens in the New York City area was unknown; however, police reports indicated that 12,306 aliens were arrested on felony charges and 11,109 aliens were arrested on misdemeanor charges over a 15-month period. Most of the INS investigative time was spent on aliens who were in prison and less on the deportability of the aliens not incarcerated, so there could be a sizable deportable criminal alien population not being studied. Although the breakdown of investigative time was generally in keeping with INS servicewide priorities, only 16 percent of that time was spent on criminal aliens. The district office's attrition rate for investigators has been among the highest in the region during the past few years. As a result, INS has potentially deportable alien cases awaiting assignment to investigators while the aliens involved continued to be arrested and convicted for crimes.

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