Detainees Leaving ICE Detention from the
Abilene Hold Room
Table 1: Number leaving ICE detention
from this facility
During the most recent 12 month period for which data are available, a total of 85 detainees housed
at the Abilene Hold Room 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 ICE holding area or staging location that under current ICE detention standards is
allowed to temporarily house aliens for up to 12 or 16 hours. These types of units generally have
no sleeping quarters or shower facilities.
Those individuals who departed from this facility because they were leaving ICE detention made up 72 percent of
the 118 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 others remained in ICE detention but were transferred from
the Abilene Hold Room 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 1.7 million government records tracking
each individual who passed through an ICE detention facility during fiscal year 2015.
This most recent 12 month period for which comprehensive data are available covers
October 2014 through September 2015. See
About the Data.
How This Facility Ranks Nationally
Rankings on the number leaving ICE detention. The Abilene Hold Room was one
of 637 facilities nationwide that housed ICE detainees during the most
recent 12 month period. Of these 637, there were 358 that had
at least 10 individuals who were deported or released.
Excluding those facilities with fewer than 10 exits, the
Abilene Hold Room last year ranked in the top 58 percent nationwide in
the number of individuals leaving ICE detention.
This means that 58 percent of the locations contributed the same or a
larger numbers of exits, while 42
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 56.3 percent of those leaving ICE detention were deported
or "voluntarily" departed.
By way of comparison, a higher percentage of detainees (91 percent) left
the country from the Abilene Hold Room because they were formally deported, or left under
the so-called "voluntary departure" procedure.
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 Abilene Hold Room was the first ICE facility in which
these detainees were held.
According to ICE records, for all these detainees, the Abilene Hold Room
was the first place they were sent when they were detained by ICE.
For the United States as a whole, last year the average number of ICE facilities
detainees moved through was 1.8.
Detainees at the Abilene Hold Room on average had stayed at somewhat fewer (1.0)
Table 3: Reasons individuals left ICE detention during the last 12 months
|| 60.0 %
|| 0.9 %
|| 30.5 %
|| 55.3 %
|| 8.2 %
|| 19.8 %
|| 1.1 %
|| 4.5 %
|| 0.1 %
|| 11.0 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 0.1 %
|| 5.2 %
|| 1.0 %
|| 1.3 %
|| 0.2 %
Why Did Detainees Leave ICE Detention?
ICE records one of 29 reasons a detainee left ICE detention.
As shown in Table 3, these reasons fall into 13 general categories -- from leaving because
one is deported or removed, to leaving because one escaped or the individual died while in custody.
As mentioned earlier, while nationally the most common reason that a detainee left
ICE detention was that they were deported from this country, this was not the top
reason at this facility.
At the Abilene Hold Room only 26 individuals (31 percent) were deported or removed 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.)
Voluntary departure and voluntary return was the most common reason recorded for a detainee to leave detention from this facility.
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 and
voluntary return the individual is not legally barred from reentry.
A total of 51 detainees (60 percent) left the Abilene Hold Room last year as voluntary departures and voluntary returns.
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 7 (8 percent) who left the Abilene Hold Room detention for these reasons: 7 with orders
of recognizance, and none with an order of supervision.
Transferred to criminal custody.
A total of 1 individuals (1 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.
Escape and death. Nationally, there were 65 individuals who
escaped ICE detention during the latest 12 month period for which data are available,
and 6 individuals were recorded as having died in detention.
No one was recorded by the Abilene Hold Room as either escaping or dying last year.
As shown in Table 3, no one was recorded as leaving the Abilene Hold Room during the past 12 months for the following
Alternative ATD custody, Bonded Out, Release to ORR, Paroled, Prosecutorial Discretion, Proceedings Terminated and Withdrawal. See "Reasons for Leaving ICE Detention" for a description of these categories.
Figure 2: Reasons individuals left ICE detention
Comparing Release Reasons Against The National Picture
In many respects release reasons for the Abilene Hold Room departed from the national picture.
It was the case that a lower proportion left because they were deported from
this facility (31 percent) than was true for the U.S. as a whole (55 percent).
A higher proportion (60 percent) left this facility as voluntary departures than
was true nationally (1 percent).
In addition, differences were seen for detainees released on orders of recognizance or supervision (8
versus 20 percent), those released to the U.S. Marshal or other agency (1
versus 5 percent), individuals released on bond (none versus 11 percent), and for those paroled (none versus 5 percent).
The facility's percentages fell within 3 percentage points of the national figures for all other categories.
Figure 3: Nationality of those
leaving ICE detention
Which nationalities predominate? Last year in the United States, individuals
from Mexico comprised the largest number of those leaving ICE detention. Some 43.4
percent of all detainees recorded Mexico as their country of origin.
The Abilene Hold Room had a much larger proportion of detainees from Mexico - 95 percent among their exits.
Detainees from Mexico were also the largest single nationality group among those leaving detention from the facility.
In descending order,
the other top nationalities after Mexico that made up those leaving ICE detention
from the Abilene Hold Room last year were:
Honduras (2%), Cameroon (1%) and Guatemala (1%).
This compared to the United States as a whole where the other top five nationalities after
Mexico were Guatemala (19%), El Salvador (15%), Honduras (12%) and Ecuador (1%).
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 0 percent to 95 percent.
As mentioned above, this compares with 91 percent for all detainees.
Table 4: Numbers leaving ICE detention by nationality
|| 90.5 %
|| 95.0 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 0.0 %
during the last 12 months
With the highest rate of 95 percent were detainees from Mexico where 81 individuals were deported or took voluntary departure.
At the other end of the range were detainees from Honduras, where none ended up deported or were allowed voluntary departure.