Of the more than 2,200 people who received federal sentences for drug possession in fiscal year 2014, almost three-quarters of them were illegal immigrants, according to new data from the United States Sentencing Commission.
Illegal immigrants also made up more than one-third of all federal sentences, that data said.
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The commission's data showed a slight decline in the total number of illegal alien sentences from 2013 to 2014, but still showed that the illegal population is a major contributor to federal crimes in America.
In 2013, illegal immigrants were responsible for 38.6 percent of all federal sentencing, and that dropped to 36.7 percent in 2014.
But the sentencing of illegal immigrants for drug possession jumped significantly. In 2013, 1,123 illegal immigrants were sentenced on convictions of simple possession, and made up 55.8 percent of those cases.
In 2014, 1,681 illegal aliens were sentenced, and they made up 74.1 percent of the total. Illegal immigrants were also 16.9 percent of all federal drug trafficking sentences.
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The data became public just as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has pushed for tougher immigration laws, and has cited last week's shooting death of a California woman at the hands of an illegal immigrant as the latest example of the need for more enforcement.
Illegal immigrants were 20 percent of the kidnapping/hostage taking sentences in 2014, 12 percent of the murder sentences, and 19.4 percent of national-defense related sentences.
As expected, illegal immigrants made up vast majority of sentences for immigration-related crimes — 91.6 percent.
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Overall, 27,505 illegal immigrants were sentenced in federal court in 2014, down from 30,144 the prior year.
All the non-citizens are combined — including legal and illegal aliens, extradited aliens and those with unknown status — contributed to 42 percent of all federal sentencing in 2014.
The commission's statistics only include primary federal offenses, and don't include local convictions or sentences, which is where most rape and murder cases would appear.