About one in five inmates in federal prison are foreign-born, and about 92 percent of those are in the United States illegally, according to a report released on Thursday by the Trump administration, which has sought to highlight the dangers it says unauthorized immigrants pose to public safety.
Officials at the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security quickly framed the statistics as evidence that the country needed stricter anti-immigration measures, particularly the wall President Trump has pushed to erect across the southern border.
The report arrives as the White House and Republicans in Congress insist that any legislative deal to restore legal protections for young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children must include more restrictions on legal and illegal immigration.
“At the border and in communities across America, our citizens are being victimized by illegal aliens who commit crimes,” the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said in a statement on Thursday, calling on Congress to pass Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda. “The simple fact is that any offense committed by a criminal alien is ultimately preventable.”