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Center for Immigration Studies
July 27, 2013

More Evidence of Enforcement Stagnation
By Jessica Vaughn

A new report tracking the number of ICE detainers issued confirms that interior immigration enforcement has declined significantly in recent months. This report corroborates my previous analysis of another set of ICE statistics that revealed a considerable deterioration in interior enforcement since 2011. According to the data provided to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a government watchdog project of Syracuse University, this fiscal year ICE is issuing 19 percent fewer detainers than last year. Detainers are formal requests from ICE to another law enforcement agency, usually a local jail, not to release an alien who is in their custody after arrest so that ICE can begin the removal process. Since ICE now limits its interior enforcement to removing only those aliens who have been convicted of other crimes, detainers are a key indicator of interior enforcement activity. TRAC reports that in the first four months of FY 2013, ICE issued an average of 18,427 detainers per month. In the first four months of FY 2012, ICE issued an average of 22,832 detainers per month. The total number of detainers issued by ICE in 2012 was 273,982. So far in 2013, ICE has issued 73,709 detainers. At that pace, ICE is on track to issue 220,027 detainers this year; that is, ICE is on track to remove nearly 54,000 fewer criminal aliens than last year. Not very reassuring.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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