Detainees Leaving ICE Detention from the
Abraxas-Hector Garza Center
San Antonio, Texas

Detainees Deported or Released
Number last 12 months 36
Out of total detained 46
Percent change:
from previous 12 months -
from FY 2005 -
from FY 2000 -
Facility ranking on detainees top 76 %

Table 1: Number leaving ICE detention
from this facility

During the most recent 12 month period for which data are available, a total of 36 detainees housed at the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center left that facility because they were deported, were released under supervision while their cases were being decided, or left ICE detention for one of a variety of other reasons. This is a special facility for housing juveniles. Use of this facility was handled by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Division of Unaccompanied Children's Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Those individuals who departed from this facility because they were leaving ICE detention made up 78 percent of the 46 detainees housed at this facility during the last 12 months. This report focuses on the reasons these individuals left ICE detention. Sometimes this report speaks of these individuals as those "exiting" ICE detention, or simply as "exits." The other 22 percent remained in ICE detention but were transferred from the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center to other facilities.

This report covers those who left ICE custody. It excludes individuals transferred to other ICE facilities. For more information on this facility, including individuals that were transferred, see additional TRAC reports in this series.

This report series is based upon analyses conducted by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University of 3.4 million government records tracking each individual who passed through an ICE detention facility during the past decade. The most recent 12 month period for which comprehensive data are available is for April 2007 through March 2008. See About the Data.

How This Facility Ranks Nationally

Rankings on the number leaving ICE detention. The Abraxas-Hector Garza Center was one of 1,528 facilities that were used to house immigration detainees during the last decade, and one of 654 facilities nationwide that housed ICE detainees during the most recent 12 month period. Of these 654, there were 324 facilities that had at least 10 individuals who were deported or released. Excluding those facilities with fewer than 10 exits, the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center last year ranked in the top 76 percent nationwide in the number of individuals leaving ICE detention. This means that 76 percent of the locations contributed the same or a larger numbers of exits, while 24 percent had a smaller number. See Table 1.

Deportations. Nationally, the most common reason that a detainee left ICE detention was that they were deported from the United States. During the most recent 12 month period for which comprehensive data are available, nationwide 81 percent of those leaving ICE detention were deported or "voluntarily" departed. By way of comparison, a lower percentage of detainees (42 percent) left the country from the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center because they were formally deported, or left under the so-called "voluntary departure" procedure.

Trends in the Number of Detainees Deported or Released

Trends in the number leaving ICE detention. During the April 2006-March 2007 period the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center processed no deportations or other releases as compared with 36 last year.

Bar chart of fymondt

Figure 1: Month-by-month number of detainees leaving this facility

Longer term exit trends. Greater detail on these long-term trends for those leaving ICE detention from the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center are displayed in Figure 1. Here the month-by-month number of exits are graphed against the backdrop of the total detainees leaving the custody of this facility. Exits are displayed with darker shading while those transferred appear with lighter shading.

Fiscal Year ICE Detainees
Total Exits Percent
1999 0 0 -
2000 0 0 -
2001 0 0 -
2002 0 0 -
2003 0 0 -
2004 0 0 -
2005 0 0 -
2006 0 0 -
2007 0 0 -
2008 (est) 94 72 77 %

Table 2: Number of detainees leaving
this facility over the last decade

Exit trends are also summarized by fiscal year in Table 2. Year-by-year figures for the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center are given for the total number of detainees as compared with those leaving ICE detention from the facility. The percent of detainees that left ICE detention is also given. (As mentioned above, the remaining detainees were transferred to another ICE detention facility.) Because data for all twelve months of the most recent fiscal year are not yet available, the FY 2008 numbers (October 2007 through September 2008) are estimated based upon reporting for the first six months.

Were Detained Individuals from the Local Area?

Information on the place of arrest was not included in the available data ICE released. However, we can examine whether the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center was the first ICE facility in which these detainees were held. According to ICE records, for a substantial proportion (39 percent) of these detainees, the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center was the first place they were sent when they were detained by ICE. The remaining 61 percent had been transferred in from another ICE detention facility.

We can also look at how quickly they arrived at this facility after they were first detained. A total of 42 percent arrived at the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center at some point during the very first day they were detained by ICE. There was considerable variability among detainees in the number of detention facilities they had been held in before they were finally deported or released from this facility. The number of facilities ranged as high as 4 separate locations for some detainees. These figures again are based on an analysis of the most recent 12 months for which data are available.

For the United States as a whole, last year the typical detainee stayed in two different ICE detention facilities before being deported or released - half stayed in 2 or fewer facilities, and half stayed in 2 or more. The average number of ICE facilities detainees moved through was 1.9. Detainees at the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center on average had stayed at somewhat fewer (1.9) ICE facilities.

Reason Left ICE Facility Profile U.S Profile
Number Percent Percent
Deported/Removed 12 33 % 72 %
Orders of Recognizance or Supervision 10 28 % 5 %
Escaped 6 17 % 0 %
U.S. Marshal or Other Agency 4 11 % 3 %
Voluntary departure 3 8 % 10 %
Proceedings Terminated 1 3 % 2 %
Bonded out 0 - 8 %
Died 0 - 0 %
Paroled 0 - 0 %
Withdrawal 0 - 1 %
Total 36 100 % 100 %

Table 3: Reasons individuals left ICE detention during the last 12 months

Why Did Detainees Leave ICE Detention?

ICE records one of twenty-three reasons a detainee left ICE detention. As shown in Table 3, these reasons fall into ten general categories -- from leaving because one is deported or removed, to leaving because one escaped or the individual died while in custody.

Deportation. As mentioned earlier, the most common reason detainees left the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center was that they were deported. A total of 12 individuals (33 percent) were deported or removed from the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center during the most recent 12 month period for which data are available. (ICE data did not distinguish between deportations and removals, and the terms are used interchangeably in this report.)

Orders. Orders are additional mechanisms that are sometimes used to release a person while their case is pending, or awaiting removal. Under an "order of recognizance" an individual is released with reporting conditions while in deportation proceedings and awaiting a final decision. A second type of order ("order of supervision") releases an individual after a final order of removal. Here an individual is released because ICE has not met the time limits the law imposes for deporting the individual. There were 10 (28 percent) who left the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center detention for these reasons: 9 with orders of recognizance, and one with an order of supervision.

Transferred to criminal custody. A total of 4 individuals (11 percent) left this facility last year because they were turned over to U.S. Marshals or to some other government agency. This typically occurs because there is an outstanding criminal case against the individual, or the individual is needed as a material witness in a criminal case.

Voluntary departure. Under some circumstances, detainees are allowed to take "voluntary departure." As with deportation, under voluntary departure a person must leave the country. However, unlike formal deportation where the individual is barred by law from reentering this country permanently or for a period of years, under voluntary departure the individual is not legally barred from reentry. An additional 3 detainees (8 percent) left the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center last year as voluntary departures.

No legitimate grounds to deport. Sometimes individuals left ICE detention because they "won" their case. Typically this occurs when an Immigration Judge orders the deportation proceedings ICE has filed against them "terminated" (dismissed) and the judge's order after any appeals becomes final. Analysis of the latest 12 months of data show that one individual was released from detention by the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center because a determination was made that there were no grounds to deport the individual and thus ICE had to release him or her from custody.

Escape and death. Nationally, there were 92 individuals who escaped ICE detention during the latest 12 month period for which data are available, and 8 individuals were recorded as having died in detention. No one was recorded as dying last year at the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center, but there were 6 escapes. Over the past decade, 6 escapes were recorded from this facility, but no deaths.

As shown in Table 3, no one was recorded as leaving the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center during the past 12 months for the following reasons: Bonded out, Paroled and Withdrawal. See "Reasons for Leaving ICE Detention" for a description of these categories.

Pie chart of release_grp

Figure 2: Reasons individuals left ICE detention

Comparing Release Reasons Against The National Picture

In many respects release reasons for the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center departed from the national picture. It was the case that a lower proportion left because they were deported from this facility (33 percent) than was true for the U.S. as a whole (72 percent).

In addition, differences were seen for detainees released on orders of recognizance or supervision (28 versus 5 percent), those who escaped (17 versus 0 percent), those released to the U.S. Marshal or other agency (11 versus 3 percent), and individuals released on bond (none versus 8 percent).

The facility's percentages fell within 3 percentage points of the national figures for all other categories.


Which nationalities predominate? Last year in the United States, individuals from Mexico comprised the largest number of those leaving ICE detention. Some 53.6 percent of all detainees recorded Mexico as their country of origin. The Abraxas-Hector Garza Center had a smaller proportion of detainees from Mexico - 42 percent among their exits. Detainees from Mexico were also the largest single nationality group among those leaving detention from the facility.

Nationalities Ranked in Top 10 Left ICE Detention
Total Deported/
- ALL 36 15 41.6 %
1 Honduras 15 4 26.6 %
Mexico 15 7 46.6 %
3 Guatemala 3 2 66.6 %
4 Ecuador 1 1 100.0 %
El Salvador 1 0 0.0 %
Nicaragua 1 1 100.0 %

Table 4: Numbers leaving ICE detention by nationality
during the last 12 months

In descending order, the top nationalities that made up those leaving ICE detention from the Abraxas-Hector Garza Center last year were: Honduras (42%) , Mexico (42%), Guatemala (8%), Ecuador (3%), El Salvador (3%) and Nicaragua (3%). This compared to the United States as a whole where the other top five nationalities after Mexico were Honduras (11.0%), Guatemala (10.0%), El Salvador (8.4%) and Dominican Republic (1.6%).

Pie chart of nat

Figure 3: Nationality of those
leaving ICE detention

Deportations and voluntary departures by nationality. Within the nationalities that made up those listed in Table 4 with more than one individual, the proportion deported or voluntarily departing varied from 27 percent to 67 percent. As mentioned above, this compares with 42 percent for all detainees.

With the highest rate of 67 percent were detainees from Guatemala where 3 individuals were deported or took voluntary departure. At the other end of the range were detainees from Honduras, where 27 percent ended up deported or were allowed voluntary departure.

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