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 384,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011, and October 31, 2022, of which over 265,000 were classified as illegal aliens by DHS.

Between June 1, 2011, and October 31, 2022, these 265,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 446,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 831 homicide charges; 54,300 assault charges; 8,233 burglary charges; 54,141 drug charges; 871 kidnapping charges; 21,700 theft charges; 34,917 obstructing police charges; 2,513 robbery charges; 5,642 sexual assault charges; 6,640 sexual offense charges; and 5,170 weapon charges.  DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 166,000 convictions including 396 homicide convictions; 20,372 assault convictions; 4,240 burglary convictions; 23,158 drug convictions; 276 kidnapping convictions; 8,819 theft convictions; 14,426 obstructing police convictions; 1,452 robbery convictions; 2,685 sexual assault convictions; 3,127 sexual offense convictions; and 1,779 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 30,000 individuals who were identified by DHS as in the country illegally while they were incarcerated at TDCJ. 10,604 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 October 31, 2022, these 10,604 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 120 homicide charges; 1144 assault charges; 545 burglary charges; 1,625 drug charges; 49 kidnapping charges; 436 theft charges; 811 obstructing police charges; 338 robbery charges; 760 sexual assault charges; 345 sexual offense charges; and 209 weapon charges.  DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 5,000 convictions including 94 homicide convictions; 683 assault convictions; 360 burglary convictions; 932 drug convictions; 29 kidnapping convictions; 238 theft convictions; 372 obstructing police convictions; 257 robbery convictions; 553 sexual assault convictions; 248 sexual offense convictions; and 85 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 October 31, 2022 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 October 31, 2022 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 October 31, 2022.
  • 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 384,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011, and October 31, 2022, of which over 265,000 were classified as illegal aliens by DHS.

Over the course of their entire Texas criminal careers, these 265,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 645,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 1,404 homicide charges; 77,272 assault charges; 18,931 burglary charges; 80,669 drug charges; 1205 kidnapping charges; 36,506 theft charges; 55,083 obstructing police charges; 4,660 robbery charges; 8,043 sexual assault charges; 9,149 sexual offense charges; and 9,592 weapon charges.  DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 276,000 convictions including 669 homicide convictions; 31,070 assault convictions; 9,570 burglary convictions; 38,499 drug convictions; 403 kidnapping convictions; 16,342 theft convictions; 25,321 obstructing police convictions; 2,539 robbery convictions; 4,078 sexual assault convictions; 4,664 sexual offense convictions; and 3,833 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 30,000 individuals who were identified by DHS as in the country illegally while they were incarcerated at TDCJ.  10,604 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 10,604 individuals identified as illegal aliens while in prison, were charged with more than 47,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 1,931 homicide charges; 5,709 assault charges; 3,539 burglary charges; 6,874 drug charges; 352 kidnapping charges; 2,736 theft charges; 3,719 obstructing police charges; 2,421 robbery charges; 3,094 sexual assault charges; 1,210 sexual offense charges; and 1,572 weapon charges.  DPS criminal history records reflect those criminal charges have thus far resulted in over 26,000 convictions including 1,159 homicide convictions; 2,933 assault convictions; 1,945 burglary convictions; 4,011 drug convictions; 158 kidnapping convictions; 1,307 theft convictions; 1,703 obstructing police convictions; 1,638 robbery convictions; 2,015 sexual assault convictions; 755 sexual offense convictions; and 609 weapon convictions. 

Criminal Aliens Chart 4 
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The reports used to update the above data were ran on November 1, 2022. 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.