Skip to main content

Texas Criminal Illegal Alien Data

The Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement agencies in Texas participate in the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). Participation in PEP enables DHS to work with state and local law enforcement to take custody of individuals who pose a danger to public safety before those individuals are released into our communities. In Texas, PEP begins at the local level when an individual is arrested and booked by a Texas law enforcement officer for a criminal violation of Texas law. The arrested individual's fingerprints are submitted to the Texas DPS and subsequently to the FBI for criminal history and warrant checks. This same biometric data is also sent to DHS' IDENT database so that ICE can determine the person's immigration status and whether the individual is a priority for removal, consistent with the DHS enforcement priorities. The immigration status information is returned to DPS by DHS. The following report is based upon the status indicators provided to the DPS. For the purposes of this report, the term "criminal alien" refers to an individual who has been identified as an alien by DHS and who has been arrested for a state criminal offense, typically a Misdemeanor B or higher, committed in Texas.

Lawful Presence Determined Through PEP

According to DHS status indicators, over 300,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and August 31, 2019, of which over 204,000 were classified as illegal aliens by DHS.

Between June 1, 2011 and August 31, 2019, these 204,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 320,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 580 homicide charges; 35,441 assault charges; 6,088 burglary charges; 40,190 drug charges; 467 kidnapping charges; 16,876 theft charges; 25,391 obstructing police charges; 1,775 robbery charges; 3,807 sexual assault charges; 5,076 sexual offense charges; and 3,242 weapon charges. DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 128,000 convictions including 265 homicide convictions; 14,679 assault convictions; 3,345 burglary convictions; 19,027 drug convictions; 184 kidnapping convictions; 7,448 theft convictions; 11,934 obstructing police convictions; 1,074 robbery convictions; 1,874 sexual assault convictions; 2,485 sexual offense convictions; and 1,366 weapon convictions.

Illegal Arrest Convictions
Enlarge chart

These figures only count individuals who previously had an encounter with DHS that resulted in their fingerprints being entered into the DHS IDENT database. Foreign nationals who enter the country illegally and avoid detection by DHS, but are later arrested by local or state law enforcement for a state offense will not have a DHS response in regard to their lawful status and do not appear in these counts. However, in addition to the PEP program, DHS actively adjudicates the immigration status of individuals incarcerated in the Texas prison system. From 2011 to date, the Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has provided DPS with information on more than 27,000 individuals who were identified by DHS as in the country illegally while they were incarcerated at TDCJ. 10,368 of these individuals were not identified through the PEP program at the time of their arrest. DPS does not know the current incarceration status of the individuals identified while they were incarcerated nor when their alien status was initially determined.

Lawful Presence Determined While Incarcerated at TDCJ

Between June 1, 2011 and August 31, 2019, these 10,368 individual identified as illegal aliens while in prison, but who were not previously identified through PEP, were charged with more than 7,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 92 homicide charges; 851 assault charges; 512 burglary charges; 1,361 drug charges; 30 kidnapping charges; 331 theft charges; 677 obstructing police charges; 273 robbery charges; 574 sexual assault charges; 252 sexual offense charges; and 162 weapon charges. DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 4,000 convictions including 69 homicide convictions; 519 assault convictions; 340 burglary convictions; 789 drug convictions; 16 kidnapping convictions; 190 theft convictions; 305 obstructing police convictions; 212 robbery convictions; 402 sexual assault convictions; 186 sexual offense convictions; and 75 weapon convictions.

Prison Arrest Convictions
Enlarge chart

Because DPS does not know the date these individuals were identified as illegal while in prison, the count of charges for which this population was arrested between June 1, 2011 and August 31, 2019 does not necessarily align with the size of the population of illegal aliens identified while in prison. A more accurate assessment can be seen when examining this population's entire Texas criminal history and not just for offenses committed during this time period (see the Historical Data section of this report). However, for this report, in order to be consistent with the timeframe utilized to provide counts of arrest and conviction for the population identified through PEP, we have limited the arrest and conviction counts for prison identified illegal aliens to the same June 1, 2011 to August 31, 2019 time frame used for individuals identified through PEP.

Report Notes

These figures do not attempt to allege that foreign nationals in the country illegally commit more crimes than other groups. It simply identifies thousands of crimes that should not have occurred and thousands of victims that should not have been victimized because the perpetrator should not be here. It is also important to note that these figures represent the minimum number of crimes associated with criminal illegal aliens:

Historical Data

Because individuals identified as being illegally present in the country may have had a Texas criminal history prior to their immigration status being known to law enforcement, DPS has traditionally published criminal history data for an alien's entire criminal history.

Lawful Presence Determined Through PEP

According to DHS status indicators, over 300,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and August 31, 2019, of which over 204,000 were classified as illegal aliens by DHS.

Over the course of their entire Texas criminal careers, these 204,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 498,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 1,077 homicide charges; 55,992 assault charges; 15,601 burglary charges; 63,953 drug charges; 773 kidnapping charges; 30,266 theft charges; 43,479 obstructing police charges; 3,695 robbery charges; 6,013 sexual assault charges; 7,345 sexual offense charges; and 7,159 weapon charges. DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 227,000 convictions including 504 homicide convictions; 24,145 assault convictions; 8,093 burglary convictions; 32,789 drug convictions; 302 kidnapping convictions; 14,247 theft convictions; 21,699 obstructing police convictions; 2,038 robbery convictions; 3,158 sexual assault convictions; 3,873 sexual offense convictions; and 3,170 weapon convictions.

Historical Illegal Arrest Convictions
Enlarge chart

Lawful Presence Determined While Incarcerated at TDCJ

From 2011 to date, the Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has provided DPS with information on more than 27,000 individuals who were identified by DHS as in the country illegally while they were incarcerated at TDCJ. 10,368 of these individuals were not identified through the PEP program at the time of their arrest. DPS does not know the current incarceration status of the individuals identified while they were incarcerated nor when their alien status was initially determined. Over the course of their entire Texas criminal careers, these 10,368 individual identified as illegal aliens while in prison, were charged with more than 47,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 1,931 homicide charges; 5,563 assault charges; 3,631 burglary charges; 6,716 drug charges; 339 kidnapping charges; 2,676 theft charges; 3,691 obstructing police charges; 2,427 robbery charges; 2,971 sexual assault charges; 1,148 sexual offense charges; and 1,573 weapon charges. DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 25,000 convictions including 1,143 homicide convictions; 2,818 assault convictions; 1,974 burglary convictions; 3,934 drug convictions; 149 kidnapping convictions; 1,266 theft convictions; 1,673 obstructing police convictions; 1,632 robbery convictions; 1,896 sexual assault convictions; 707 sexual offense convictions; and 622 weapon convictions.

Historical Prison Arrest Convictions
Enlarge chart