Graphical Highlights

Changing Composition of ICE Detainees
FY 2005 - FY 2010 (1st Quarter)

Fiscal Year Number of Detainees[1] Percent Criminal
2005 233,417 40%
2006 256,842 38%
2007 311,169 33%
2008 378,582 29%
2009 383,524 27%
2010 (1st Quarter) see note [2] 43%

[1] TRAC found no seasonality evident in the month-to-month patterns over the FY 2005-FY 2009 period. Thus, the pattern observed for the first three months of FY 2010 did not appear to be seasonal in nature. Also, ICE stated that in August 2008 the agency adjusted its definition of a criminal alien so that those who had been charged but not yet criminally convicted were no longer classified as criminal aliens. An ICE spokesperson told TRAC that the agency could not say what affect this had; however, in the month-by-month plots of the data TRAC prepared to examine this issue, there was no indication of any shift in the numbers that may have resulted from such a change.

Also, the number detained differ slightly from those reported in TRAC's earlier report on transfers. In response to a series of questions on diffrences among published counts TRAC submitted to the agency, ICE determined the new data it provided TRAC included ICE detainees in certain Bureau of Prison facilities which the earlier data had in fact omitted when the ICE extract had been prepared. While trends are not affected, detainee counts are as a result slightly higher in TRAC's new series.

[2] While ICE agreed that it was the drop in the non-criminal detainees that was driving this dramatic shift, it told TRAC that while the number of detainees in total was down that in addition to the decline in non-criminal detainees, more complete and recent data showed there was a modest increase in the numbers of criminal detainees. TRAC was not able to confirm this statement because we had not yet received augmented data that ICE had promised at the time this report was posted.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2010