Detainees Leaving ICE Detention from the
Southwest Key - Houston
Table 1: Number leaving ICE detention
from this facility
During the most recent 12 month period for which data are available, a total of 132 detainees housed
at the Southwest Key - Houston 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 85 percent of
the 156 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 Southwest Key - Houston 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 Southwest Key - Houston 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
Southwest Key - Houston last year ranked in the top 49 percent nationwide in
the number of individuals leaving ICE detention.
This means that 49 percent of the locations contributed the same or a
larger numbers of exits, while 51
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 lower percentage of detainees (20 percent) left
the country from the Southwest Key - Houston 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 Southwest Key - Houston was the first ICE facility in which
these detainees were held.
According to ICE records, for a substantial proportion (30 percent) of these detainees, the Southwest Key - Houston
was the first place they were sent when they were detained by ICE.
The remaining 70 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 89 percent arrived at the Southwest Key - Houston 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 3 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 average number of ICE facilities
detainees moved through was 1.8.
Detainees at the Southwest Key - Houston on average had stayed at somewhat fewer (1.7)
Table 3: Reasons individuals left ICE detention during the last 12 months
|| 71.2 %
|| 19.8 %
|| 15.9 %
|| 55.3 %
|| 8.3 %
|| 0.1 %
|| 3.7 %
|| 0.9 %
|| 0.7 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 0.1 %
|| 11.0 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 5.2 %
|| 1.0 %
|| 1.3 %
|| 4.5 %
|| 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 Southwest Key - Houston only 21 individuals (16 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.)
The issuance of an order to release the detainee was the most common reason why individuals were
recorded as leaving ICE detention from this facility.
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 94 (71 percent) who left the Southwest Key - Houston detention for these reasons: 94 with orders
of recognizance, and none with an order of supervision.
Transferred to ORR custody.
A total of 11 individuals (8 percent) left this facility last year because they were turned over to the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
Among ORR's responsibility is the supervision of unaccompanied children, including
their placement whenever possible with qualified sponsors or family members who ORR
determines are capable of providing for the child's physical and mental well-being.
Under some circumstances, detainees are allowed to take "voluntary departures" or "voluntary returns."
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.
An additional 5 detainees (4 percent) left the Southwest Key - Houston last year as voluntary departures and voluntary returns.
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 as dying last year at the Southwest Key - Houston, but there was one escape.
As shown in Table 3, no one was recorded as leaving the Southwest Key - Houston during the past 12 months for the following
Alternative ATD custody, Bonded Out, Paroled, Prosecutorial Discretion, Proceedings Terminated, U.S. Marshals or other agency 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 Southwest Key - Houston departed from the national picture.
It was the case that a lower proportion left because they were deported from
this facility (16 percent) than was true for the U.S. as a whole (55 percent).
In addition, differences were seen for detainees released on orders of recognizance or supervision (71
versus 20 percent), ORR (8
versus 0 percent), individuals released on bond (none versus 11 percent), for those paroled (none versus 5 percent), and those released to the U.S. Marshal or other agency (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 Southwest Key - Houston had a much smaller proportion of detainees from Mexico - 26 percent among their exits.
Detainees from Mexico were not the largest single nationality group among those leaving detention from the facility.
In descending order,
the top nationalities that made up those leaving ICE detention from the Southwest Key - Houston last year were:
, Mexico (26%), Honduras (21%), El Salvador (14%) and Ecuador (2%).
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 76 percent.
As mentioned above, this compares with 20 percent for all detainees.
Table 4: Numbers leaving ICE detention by nationality
|| 19.6 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 76.4 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 0.0 %
during the last 12 months
With the highest rate of 77 percent were detainees from Other where all individuals were deported or took voluntary departure.
More than one country was tied with the lowest rate, where detainees were deported or took voluntary departure.