Texas Criminal Illegal Alien Data

August 27, 2020

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 344,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and June 30, 2021, of which over 235,000 were classified as illegal aliens by DHS.

Between June 1, 2011 and June 30, 2021, these 235,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 383,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 713 homicide charges; 45,010 assault charges; 7,226 burglary charges; 47,459 drug charges; 655 kidnapping charges; 19,132 theft charges; 30,075 obstructing police charges; 2,113 robbery charges; 4,761 sexual assault charges; 5,896 sexual offense charges; and 4,100 weapon charges.  DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 148,000 convictions including 318 homicide convictions; 17,636 assault convictions; 3,823 burglary convictions; 21,369 drug convictions; 234 kidnapping convictions; 8,145 theft convictions; 13,307 obstructing police convictions; 1,273 robbery convictions; 2,269 sexual assault convictions; 2,821 sexual offense convictions; and 1,578 weapon convictions.

Criminal Aliens Chart 1 
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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 29,000 individuals who were identified by DHS as in the country illegally while they were incarcerated at TDCJ. 10,479 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 June 30, 2021, these 10,479 individual identified as illegal aliens while in prison, but who were not previously identified through PEP, were charged with more than 8,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 107 homicide charges; 1018 assault charges; 535 burglary charges; 1,481 drug charges; 40 kidnapping charges; 391 theft charges; 764 obstructing police charges; 308 robbery charges; 651 sexual assault charges; 289 sexual offense charges; and 181 weapon charges.  DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 4,000 convictions including 81 homicide convictions; 611 assault convictions; 356 burglary convictions; 865 drug convictions; 25 kidnapping convictions; 217 theft convictions; 344 obstructing police convictions; 237 robbery convictions; 463 sexual assault convictions; 217 sexual offense convictions; and 81 weapon convictions. 

Criminal Aliens Chart 2 
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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 June 30, 2021 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 June 30, 2021 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:

  • These figures only count arrests in Texas for state offenses.  These individuals may have criminal records in other states.
  • These figures only represent offenses and convictions that are associated with arrest events that occurred between June 1, 2011 and June 30, 2021.
  • The criminal activity for individuals identified as illegal while in prison is under represented for this time period because they may have been incarcerated during the time frame used in this report.
  • These figures do not count federal criminal charges.
  • These figures do not include similar data for foreign nationals who are lawfully in the country and commit state criminal offenses.
  • Individuals whose lawful presence was determined while in prison may or may not be currently incarcerated.

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 344,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and June 30, 2021, of which over 235,000 were classified as illegal aliens by DHS.

Over the course of their entire Texas criminal careers, these 235,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 573,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 1,245 homicide charges; 66,924 assault charges; 17,456 burglary charges; 72,835 drug charges; 980 kidnapping charges; 33,335 theft charges; 49,408 obstructing police charges; 4,155 robbery charges; 7,076 sexual assault charges; 8,332 sexual offense charges; and 8,317 weapon charges.  DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 253,000 convictions including 576 homicide convictions; 27,824 assault convictions; 8,914 burglary convictions; 36,075 drug convictions; 355 kidnapping convictions; 15,371 theft convictions; 23,742 obstructing police convictions; 2,301 robbery convictions; 3,619 sexual assault convictions; 4,321 sexual offense convictions; and 3,526 weapon convictions.

Criminal Aliens Chart 3 
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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 29,000 individuals who were identified by DHS as in the country illegally while they were incarcerated at TDCJ.  10,479 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 10,479 individual identified as illegal aliens while in prison, were charged with more than 47,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 1,937 homicide charges; 5,666 assault charges; 3,574 burglary charges; 6,768 drug charges; 345 kidnapping charges; 2,717 theft charges; 3,717 obstructing police charges; 2,428 robbery charges; 3,003 sexual assault charges; 1,157 sexual offense charges; and 1,560 weapon charges.  DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 26,000 convictions including 1,155 homicide convictions; 2,891 assault convictions; 1,966 burglary convictions; 3,970 drug convictions; 156 kidnapping convictions; 1,294 theft convictions; 1,693 obstructing police convictions; 1,641 robbery convictions; 1,939 sexual assault convictions; 724 sexual offense convictions; and 614 weapon convictions. 

Criminal Aliens Chart 4 
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The reports used to update the above data were ran on July 1, 2021.  This data is accurate and true on the date the reports were created. Please be advised that data can change any time after the report was processed.