Texas' southern and western federal judicial districts have been the epicenter of expanded immigration prosecution, so it follows that Texas also suffered the most from a lessened focus on more traditional federal prosecutions.
Federal prosecutions of immigration crimes nearly doubled in the last fiscal year, reaching more than 70,000 immigration cases in the 2008 fiscal year, according to federal data compiled by a Syracuse University research group. The emphasis, many federal judges and prosecutors say, has siphoned resources from other crimes, eroded morale among federal lawyers and overloaded the federal court system. Many of those other crimes, including gun trafficking, organized crime and the increasingly violent drug trade, are now routinely referred to state and county officials, who say they often lack the finances or authority to prosecute them effectively. ...
Immigration prosecutions have steeply risen over the last five years, while white-collar prosecutions have fallen by 18 percent, weapons prosecutions have dropped by 19 percent, organized crime prosecutions are down by 20 percent and public corruption prosecutions have dropped by 14 percent, according to the Syracuse group’s statistics. Drug prosecutions — the enforcement priority of the Reagan, first Bush and Clinton administrations — have declined by 20 percent since 2003.
“I have seen a national abdication by the Justice Department,” said Attorney General Terry Goddard of Arizona.
Who among us thinks illegal immigration has done more harm to the economy than "white collar crime"? Hell, just one white collar defendant - Bernard Madoff - allegedly stole almost three times more from Wall Street investors by himself than was taken in 9.8 million property crimes in all of 2007! Given what's happened recently on Wall Street, I doubt the public would approve of DOJ's declining emphasis on white collar theft.
Indeed, it's hard to understand DOJ's priorities during the Bush Administration viewed through any but the most politicized lens. Otherwise, their decisions make little sense. Though Mexican drug cartels constitute by far the biggest border security threat, for example, DOJ's recent immigration focus has kept federal prosecutors from vigorously pursuing those cases. Reports Moore:
“They’ve pulled so many U.S. attorneys off drug crimes and organized crime caseloads that federal agents are trying to get help from local district attorneys because they can’t wait six weeks for a wiretap order,” Ms. Lofgren said. “By then it’s too late to catch the bad guys.”
Federal agents requested 457 wiretaps in 2007, a 14-year low. Meanwhile, state and local prosecutors requested 1,751 wiretaps, more than triple the number in 1993.