Putting TRAC to Work
  News Organizations
April 12, 2017

A new government report is on hold because of errors — and now we know even less about immigration enforcement
By Alex Newman

TRAC has collected ICE data for years using Freedom of Information Act requests, but recently ICE has stopped providing the data it sent in years past. The datasets now available on the TRAC website include all detainers issued from 2002 through 2015. It also includes records of how many people were deported from 2003 through 2016. Those datasets can no longer be updated in their existing format. TRAC analyzed detainer requests with data available during the Bush and Obama administrations and found that ICE assumed custody of only 40 percent of people it requested be held by local law enforcement. It’s not a perfect analysis, says Long. ICE records only that a detainer was created, not if it was served to the law enforcement agency; multiple detainers can be issued to one person; and when someone is taken into custody, they do not record if the individual was picked up by the same law enforcement agency where the detainer was served. Long suggests that the revised report should include details of how many detainers were issued to each facility, criminal history and why each detainer was issued. “This is a one-week snapshot rather than including a cumulative picture,” she says. “Normally, with statistics, you have a method for updates. They don't have that, and I think that results in a very unfortunate and incomplete and misleading picture of what’s going on.”

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2017
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