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Immigration-related crimes have driven new federal convictions for the past fiscal year, with nearly 32% of all convictions, and continue to dominate the caseload into December 2007, according to the latest Justice Department data available. The volume of federal convictions, from violent felonies to petty offenses, dipped in 2007 by 3.4%, but despite the downturn, the long-term trend in convictions has skyrocketed. Federal convictions were up nearly 91% over those five years ago and up 109% from the level reported 10 years ago, in fiscal year 1987, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. TRAC, associated with Syracuse University, compiles government data based on Freedom of Information Act releases. Immigration represented 35% of all 95,557 convictions reported in fiscal 2007 and in the latest monthly report the trend continued, with immigration accounting for 48% of convictions for the month, nearly half the 8,758 for the month, according to TRAC, which compiles government files. Following immigration-related crimes were drug crimes at nearly 25%, while white collar crime represented less than 8% of the total convictions for the year, according to TRAC. Immigration crimes included illegal re-entry to the U.S. or entry of an alien at an improper time or place. Among the federal judicial districts with the highest per capital conviction rates in each of the nation’s 94 judicial districts were Wyoming at number one with 983 convictions, or about 1 for every 1,900 Wyoming residents, according to TRAC. Ten years ago Wyoming ranked 15th per capita. The top nine after Wyoming include: the Southern District of Texas, the District of Arizona, California’s Southern District, New Mexico District, Western District of Texas, the D.C. District, Virginia’s Eastern District, the South Dakota District and Virginia’s Western District, which is new to the top 10 list. The district was 12th last year and 23rd five years ago, according to TRAC. The district that showed the single greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago was California’s Southern District in San Diego at nearly 68%. But Wyoming jumped 215% compared with its conviction record five years ago.

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