Email, Tom Vinger, press secretary, Media and Communications Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Sept. 5, 2018

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2018 6:00 PM

Tom:

Good afternoon.

Working from the
revised DPS web page on immigrants and crime, we have been fact-checking a claim that illegal immigrants in Texas have committed over 600,000 crimes and more than 1,200 homicides since 2011. Best I can tell, the latest DPS-posted figures link fewer offenses including homicides to unauthorized residents.

I am sharing below my rendition of the latest DPS-posted information. Anything inaccurate, factually speaking?

My story is due by 2 pm Wednesday.

MY WRITING:

According to Department of Homeland Security “status indicators,” the DPS reported, “over 261,000 criminal aliens were booked into Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and July 31, 2018, of which over 175,000 were classified as illegal aliens.” In the same period, DPS says, “these 175,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 273,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 505 homicide” charges. The homicide charges, per the web page, resulted in 225 convictions.

According to the web page, Homeland Security separately identified another 10,182 “illegal aliens,” all imprisoned in Texas, who together had been charged with more than 6,000 criminal offenses included 81 homicide charges.

We combined the two sets of counts--a move supporting the conclusion that, per the DPS, more than 185,000 individuals believed to be living in the U.S. without legal permission were jailed in Texas over the seven-plus years who all told accounted for more than 279,000 criminal charges including 586 homicide charges and 225 homicide convictions--considerably shy of the figures we are fact-checking which look to us to be rooted in DPS-posted information we explored in the fact-checks here here and here.

As ever, we rely on attributable on-the-record information for our work.

Thanks,

g.

W. Gardner Selby
Reporter / News
Austin American-Statesman
PolitiFact Texas

4:02 p.m.

Sept. 5, 2018

The current web page only refers to charges and convictions for criminal aliens who were in the country illegally. Past versions of the web page have higher numbers because they included charges and convictions for all criminal aliens – legal and illegal.

The newer version of the web page also includes offenses committed after June 2011 (for those identified as illegal criminal aliens). Past versions of the web page referred only to the number of crimes over the course of their criminal career.


Tom Vinger
Press Secretary, Texas Department of Public Safety
Media and Communications Office