The following coded entries are recorded in ICE's case-by-case records as the "reason" a detainee left the agency's custody. They are entered at the time an individual is "booked out" of an ICE detention facility. As an aid to the reader, TRAC developed this glossary of what these terms mean.
Alternatives to detention (ATD). ICE programs using electronic monitoring or enhanced supervision in lieu of detention. The agency has announced expansion of these programs as a cost-cutting measure.
Bonded out. This generally covers situations where the individual posts bond and is released while awaiting a decision on the 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 of the immigration laws.
Death. A person dies while in custody.
Escape. A person escapes from a detention facility.
Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). A detainee is turned over to ORR, an office within the Administration for Children and Families in the Health and Human Services Department. This office has the responsibility for supervising detainees who are unaccompanied minors.
Order of recognizance. A type of order which releases an individual with reporting conditions while in deportation proceedings and awaiting a final decision.
Order of supervision. A special type of order which releases an individual after a final order of removal. In such a case, an individual is released because ICE has not met the time limits imposed for deporting the individual.
Paroled. A detainee is released after being granted permission to enter the United States despite the individual being legally ineligible to enter. Parolees are given temporary status, requiring them to depart the U.S. when the conditions supporting their parole status cease or the designated time period expires. Many types of parole exist in law and policy. Two primary ones respond to demonstrated needs to enter the U.S. for medical or "humanitarian" reasons or to take part in legal proceedings.
Proceedings terminated. Used by ICE to denote individuals who left ICE detention because the agency had no legal basis to deport them. This might occur if ICE found it made a mistake in seeking to deport the individual in the first place. More often this occurs when an Immigration Judge orders the deportation proceedings ICE has filed "terminated" (dismissed) or awards "relief" to the detainee because under the law the individual was entitled to remain in the country. A judge's order is not binding on ICE to release the individual from detention until it has become final after any appeals.
Prosecutorial discretion (PD). Individuals released and allowed to stay, at least temporarily, in the country based upon the exercise of ICE's prosecutorial discretion. This program was implemented following a June 17, 2011 directive from ICE Director John Morton.
Removal. The administrative process involving the removal of a person from the U.S. who is not a U.S. citizen. Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, the formal term for deportation was changed to "removal." The individual is also legally barred from reentry to the U.S. for a period of years. The length of this bar varies depending upon the specific removal provision invoked. So-called aggravated felons are permanently barred from ever reentering the U.S.
U.S. Marshal. A detainee is turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service. 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. Permission granted to an alien to leave the U.S. voluntarily, at his/her own expense, by a designated date. The permission is offered by the Department of Homeland Security either before or during a removal hearing in Immigration Court. Aliens often request voluntary departure as an alternative to receiving a formal order of removal from the U.S. This alternative can be very important to an alien from a legal standpoint because the consequences of a removal order include long-term bars (restrictions) to re-admission to the U.S. and immigration benefits.
Failure to depart from the U.S. within the time granted results in such an order of removal and the related consequences. Voluntary departure is not available to persons who have engaged in certain criminal or terrorist activities. In addition, DHS authorities can attach conditions to an offer of Voluntary Departure, such as the posting of a bond or continued detention until departure.
Voluntary return. An administrative procedure whereby an individual agrees to be deported. No legal bar to reentry is imposed.
Withdrawal. An individual's request to enter the U.S. is allowed to be withdrawn. When this happens, this effectively means the person must leave the country.