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 297,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and July 31, 2019, of which over 202,000 were classified as illegal aliens by DHS.

Between June 1, 2011 and July 31, 2019, these 202,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 317,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 570 homicide charges; 35,019 assault charges; 6,040 burglary charges; 39,850 drug charges; 457 kidnapping charges; 16,783 theft charges; 25,122 obstructing police charges; 1,761 robbery charges; 3,752 sexual assault charges; 5,019 sexual offense charges; and 3,211 weapon charges. DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 127,000 convictions including 262 homicide convictions; 14,534 assault convictions; 3,335 burglary convictions; 18,904 drug convictions; 182 kidnapping convictions; 7,406 theft convictions; 11,855 obstructing police convictions; 1,063 robbery convictions; 1,845 sexual assault convictions; 2,457 sexual offense convictions; and 1,359 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. 10,362 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 July 31, 2019, these 10,362 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 90 homicide charges; 842 assault charges; 516 burglary charges; 1,363 drug charges; 30 kidnapping charges; 332 theft charges; 672 obstructing police charges; 273 robbery charges; 563 sexual assault charges; 253 sexual offense charges; and 164 weapon charges. DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 4,000 convictions including 68 homicide convictions; 515 assault convictions; 345 burglary convictions; 787 drug convictions; 15 kidnapping convictions; 190 theft convictions; 306 obstructing police convictions; 212 robbery convictions; 399 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 July 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 July 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 297,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and July 31, 2019, of which over 202,000 were classified as illegal aliens by DHS.

Over the course of their entire Texas criminal careers, these 202,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 494,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 1,066 homicide charges; 55,484 assault charges; 15,533 burglary charges; 63,491 drug charges; 759 kidnapping charges; 30,127 theft charges; 43,149 obstructing police charges; 3,679 robbery charges; 5,949 sexual assault charges; 7,279 sexual offense charges; and 7,111 weapon charges. DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 225,000 convictions including 500 homicide convictions; 23,954 assault convictions; 8,070 burglary convictions; 32,601 drug convictions; 297 kidnapping convictions; 14,178 theft convictions; 21,605 obstructing police convictions; 2,026 robbery convictions; 3,122 sexual assault convictions; 3,840 sexual offense convictions; and 3,158 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. 10,362 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 10,362 individual identified as illegal aliens while in prison, were charged with more than 47,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 1,929 homicide charges; 5,563 assault charges; 3,642 burglary charges; 6,728 drug charges; 340 kidnapping charges; 2,678 theft charges; 3,694 obstructing police charges; 2,429 robbery charges; 2,963 sexual assault charges; 1,151 sexual offense charges; and 1,579 weapon charges. DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 25,000 convictions including 1,141 homicide convictions; 2,816 assault convictions; 1,984 burglary convictions; 3,937 drug convictions; 148 kidnapping convictions; 1,266 theft convictions; 1,675 obstructing police convictions; 1,634 robbery convictions; 1,896 sexual assault convictions; 708 sexual offense convictions; and 623 weapon convictions.

Historical Prison Arrest Convictions
Enlarge chart