Detainees Leaving ICE Detention from the
Arlington County Jail
Arlington, Virginia

Detainees Deported or Released
Number last 12 months 319
Out of total detained 720
Percent change:
from previous 12 months 90 %
from FY 2005 161 %
from FY 2000 147 %
Facility ranking on detainees top 36 %

Table 1: Number leaving ICE detention
from this facility

During the most recent 12 month period for which data are available, a total of 319 detainees housed at the Arlington County Jail 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. The use of this facility for the temporary housing of federal immigration detainees was arranged through an intergovernmental service agreement (IGSA) under which payments by ICE to another governmental agency are made for housing federal detainees. Additional information about the arrangement, including whether a private company may operate the facility for the government, was not available at the time this report was posted.

Those individuals who departed from this facility because they were leaving ICE detention made up 44 percent of the 720 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 56 percent remained in ICE detention but were transferred from the Arlington County Jail 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 Arlington County Jail 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 Arlington County Jail last year ranked in the top 36 percent nationwide in the number of individuals leaving ICE detention. This means that 36 percent of the locations contributed the same or a larger numbers of exits, while 64 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 (56 percent) left the country from the Arlington County Jail 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. When deportations and other releases during the April 2007-March 2008 period were compared with those in the previous 12 months, the Arlington County Jail numbers were sharply up by 90 percent. During the April 2006-March 2007 period the facility processed 168 "exits" as compared with 319 last year. As detailed in Table 1, numbers last year were also up 161 percent as compared with the number of those leaving ICE detention (122) during FY 2005. Exits last year were also up by 147 percent as compared with the number of exits (129) during FY 2000.

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 Arlington County Jail 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. As is readily apparent, considerable variation has occurred over time in both the overall numbers of detainees as well as the volume leaving ICE detention during this period.

Fiscal Year ICE Detainees
Total Exits Percent
1999 140 27 19 %
2000 325 129 40 %
2001 672 319 47 %
2002 500 243 49 %
2003 822 300 36 %
2004 670 172 26 %
2005 598 122 20 %
2006 520 140 27 %
2007 720 256 36 %
2008 (est) 692 322 47 %

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 Arlington County Jail 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 Arlington County Jail was the first ICE facility in which these detainees were held. According to ICE records, for the vast majority (75 percent) of these detainees, the Arlington County Jail was the first place they were sent when they were detained by ICE. The remaining 25 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 76 percent arrived at the Arlington County Jail 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 13 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 Arlington County Jail on average had stayed at somewhat fewer (1.4) ICE facilities.

Reason Left ICE Facility Profile U.S Profile
Number Percent Percent
Deported/Removed 177 55 % 72 %
Bonded out 66 21 % 8 %
Orders of Recognizance or Supervision 42 13 % 5 %
U.S. Marshal or Other Agency 26 8 % 3 %
Proceedings Terminated 7 2 % 2 %
Voluntary departure 1 0 % 10 %
Died 0 . 0 %
Escaped 0 . 0 %
Paroled 0 . 0 %
Withdrawal 0 . 1 %
Total 319 100 % 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 Arlington County Jail was that they were deported. A total of 177 individuals (55 percent) were deported or removed from the Arlington County Jail 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.)

Bonded out. A group of individuals (66 or 21 percent) were also "bonded out." This generally covers situations where the individual posts a bond and is released while awaiting a decision on their deportation (removal) case. The amount of the bond is set by ICE, or by an Immigration Judge. Many individuals are not eligible to be released because their continued detention is considered mandatory under provisions in the immigration laws.

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 42 (13 percent) who left the Arlington County Jail detention for these reasons: 32 with orders of recognizance, and 10 with orders of supervision.

Transferred to criminal custody. A total of 26 individuals (8 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.

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 a total of 7 individuals, or 2 percent were released from detention by the Arlington County Jail because a determination was made that there were no grounds to deport the individuals and thus ICE had to release them 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 by the Arlington County Jail as either escaping or dying last year. Over the past decade, there was also no record of anyone who died or escaped from this facility.

As shown in Table 3, no one was recorded as leaving the Arlington County Jail during the past 12 months for the following reasons: 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 Arlington County Jail departed from the national picture. It was the case that a lower proportion left because they were deported from this facility (55 percent) than was true for the U.S. as a whole (72 percent). A lower proportion (0 percent) left this facility as voluntary departures than was true nationally (10 percent).

In addition, differences were seen for individuals released on bond (21 versus 8 percent), detainees released on orders of recognizance or supervision (13 versus 5 percent), and those released to the U.S. Marshal or other agency (8 versus 3 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 Arlington County Jail had a much smaller proportion of detainees from Mexico - 9 percent among their exits. Detainees from Mexico were not the largest single nationality group among those leaving detention from the facility.

Nationalities Ranked in Top 10 Left ICE Detention
Total Deported/
- ALL 319 178 55.7 %
1 El Salvador 98 61 62.2 %
2 Guatemala 30 5 16.6 %
3 Mexico 28 19 67.8 %
4 Honduras 22 10 45.4 %
5 Bolivia 20 8 40.0 %
6 Jamaica 13 13 100.0 %
7 Brazil 11 11 100.0 %
8 Mongolia 8 1 12.5 %
9 Nicaragua 7 6 85.7 %
Peru 7 2 28.5 %

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 Arlington County Jail last year were: El Salvador (31%) , Guatemala (9%), Mexico (9%), Honduras (7%) and Bolivia (6%). 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

For the frequency for each of the other nationalities among those leaving ICE detention from the Arlington County Jail last year see Table 4.

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 13 percent to 100 percent. As mentioned above, this compares with 56 percent for all detainees.

More than one country was tied with the highest rate of 100 percent, where detainees were deported or took voluntary departure. At the other end of the range were detainees from Mongolia, where 13 percent ended up deported or were allowed voluntary departure.

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