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 351,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and September 30, 2021, of which over 240,000 were classified as illegal aliens by DHS.

Between June 1, 2011 and September 30, 2021, these 240,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 394,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 734 homicide charges; 46,606 assault charges; 7,407 burglary charges; 48,683 drug charges; 699 kidnapping charges; 19,513 theft charges; 30,939 obstructing police charges; 2,165 robbery charges; 4,911 sexual assault charges; 6,011 sexual offense charges; and 4,267 weapon charges.  DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 151,000 convictions including 332 homicide convictions; 18,064 assault convictions; 3,873 burglary convictions; 21,696 drug convictions; 243 kidnapping convictions; 8,258 theft convictions; 13,485 obstructing police convictions; 1,304 robbery convictions; 2,339 sexual assault convictions; 2,869 sexual offense convictions; and 1,612 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. 10,521 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 September 30, 2021, these 10,521 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 108 homicide charges; 1062 assault charges; 543 burglary charges; 1,524 drug charges; 43 kidnapping charges; 403 theft charges; 779 obstructing police charges; 321 robbery charges; 678 sexual assault charges; 300 sexual offense charges; and 183 weapon charges.  DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 4,000 convictions including 82 homicide convictions; 641 assault convictions; 362 burglary convictions; 886 drug convictions; 26 kidnapping convictions; 225 theft convictions; 352 obstructing police convictions; 244 robbery convictions; 488 sexual assault convictions; 220 sexual offense convictions; and 82 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 September 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 September 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 September 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 351,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and September 30, 2021, of which over 240,000 were classified as illegal aliens by DHS.

Over the course of their entire Texas criminal careers, these 240,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 586,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 1,274 homicide charges; 68,688 assault charges; 17,751 burglary charges; 74,314 drug charges; 1028 kidnapping charges; 33,842 theft charges; 50,456 obstructing police charges; 4,238 robbery charges; 7,247 sexual assault charges; 8,468 sexual offense charges; and 8,521 weapon charges.  DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 257,000 convictions including 595 homicide convictions; 28,327 assault convictions; 9,032 burglary convictions; 36,546 drug convictions; 366 kidnapping convictions; 15,554 theft convictions; 24,018 obstructing police convictions; 2,349 robbery convictions; 3,696 sexual assault convictions; 4,380 sexual offense convictions; and 3,579 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.  10,521 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 10,521 individual identified as illegal aliens while in prison, were charged with more than 47,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 1,935 homicide charges; 5,706 assault charges; 3,572 burglary charges; 6,810 drug charges; 346 kidnapping charges; 2,729 theft charges; 3,732 obstructing police charges; 2,428 robbery charges; 3,026 sexual assault charges; 1,163 sexual offense charges; and 1,558 weapon charges.  DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 26,000 convictions including 1,153 homicide convictions; 2,917 assault convictions; 1,966 burglary convictions; 3,990 drug convictions; 155 kidnapping convictions; 1,302 theft convictions; 1,702 obstructing police convictions; 1,640 robbery convictions; 1,960 sexual assault convictions; 725 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 October 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.