Detainees Leaving ICE Detention from the
San Juan Staging
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Detainees Deported or Released
Number last 12 months 407
Out of total detained 600
Facility ranking on detainees top 29 %

Table 1: Number leaving ICE detention
from this facility

During the most recent 12 month period for which data are available, a total of 407 detainees housed at the San Juan Staging 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 ICE holding area or staging location that under current ICE detention standards is allowed to temporarily house aliens for up to 12 or 16 hours. These types of units generally have no sleeping quarters or shower facilities.

Those individuals who departed from this facility because they were leaving ICE detention made up 68 percent of the 600 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 San Juan Staging 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 San Juan Staging 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 San Juan Staging last year ranked in the top 29 percent nationwide in the number of individuals leaving ICE detention. This means that 29 percent of the locations contributed the same or a larger numbers of exits, while 71 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, about the same percentage of detainees (57 percent) left the country from the San Juan Staging 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 San Juan Staging was the first ICE facility in which these detainees were held. According to ICE records, for the majority (74 percent) of these detainees, the San Juan Staging was the first place they were sent when they were detained by ICE. The remaining 26 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 76 percent arrived at the San Juan Staging 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 San Juan Staging on average had stayed at somewhat fewer (1.3) ICE facilities.

Reason Left ICE Facility Profile U.S Profile
Number Percent Percent
Deported/Removed 217 53.3 % 55.3 %
U.S. Marshal or Other Agency 99 24.3 % 4.5 %
Withdrawal 45 11.0 % 0.2 %
Orders of Recognizance or Supervision 21 5.1 % 19.8 %
Voluntary departure 17 4.1 % 0.9 %
Bonded out 6 1.4 % 11.0 %
Paroled 1 0.2 % 5.2 %
Prosecutorial Discretion 1 0.2 % 1.0 %
Alternative ATD custody 0 . 0.1 %
Died 0 . 0.0 %
Escaped 0 . 0.0 %
Release to ORR 0 . 0.1 %
Proceedings Terminated 0 . 1.3 %
Total 407 100.0 % 100.0 %

Table 3: Reasons individuals left ICE detention during the last 12 months

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.

Deportation. As mentioned earlier, the most common reason detainees left the San Juan Staging was that they were deported. A total of 217 individuals (53 percent) were deported or removed from the San Juan Staging 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.)

Transferred to criminal custody. A total of 99 individuals (24 percent) left this facility last year because they were turned over to U.S. Marshals or to some other government agency. 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.

Withdraw entry request. Individuals also leave ICE detention for a variety of additional reasons. One of these is that individuals who have been detained may be allowed to "withdraw" their request to enter the country. If a person withdraws their request, this effectively means they must leave the country. A total of 45 individuals (11 percent) fell into this category. Unlike deportation where the person is legally barred for a period of years and sometimes permanently from coming back to the United States, a person who withdraws their request is not for that reason barred from re-entry into this country.

Orders. Orders are additional mechanisms that are sometimes used to release a person while their case is pending, or awaiting removal. 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 21 (5 percent) who left the San Juan Staging detention for these reasons: 18 with orders of recognizance, and 3 with orders of supervision.

Voluntary departure. 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 17 detainees (4 percent) left the San Juan Staging last year as voluntary departures and voluntary returns.

Bonded out. A group of individuals (6 or 1 percent) were also "bonded out." This generally covers situations where the individual posts a bond and is released while awaiting a decision on their deportation (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 in the immigration laws.

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 by the San Juan Staging as either escaping or dying last year.

As shown in Table 3, no one was recorded as leaving the San Juan Staging during the past 12 months for the following reasons: Alternative ATD custody, Release to ORR and Proceedings Terminated. See "Reasons for Leaving ICE Detention" for a description of these categories.

Pie chart of release_grp

Figure 2: Reasons individuals left ICE detention

Comparing Release Reasons Against The National Picture

In many respects release reasons for the San Juan Staging departed from the national picture. It was the case that differences were seen for those released to the U.S. Marshal or other agency (24 versus 5 percent), individuals who withdrew their request for entry (11 versus 0 percent), detainees released on orders of recognizance or supervision (5 versus 20 percent), individuals released on bond (1 versus 11 percent), and for those paroled (0 versus 5 percent).

The facility's percentages fell within 3 percentage points of the national figures for all other categories.

Pie chart of nat

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 San Juan Staging had a much smaller proportion of detainees from Mexico - 1 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 San Juan Staging last year were: Dominican Republic (59%) , Haiti (24%), Brazil (3%), Spain (3%) and Colombia (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%).

For the frequency for each of the other nationalities within the top 10 among those leaving ICE detention from the San Juan Staging last year see Table 4.

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 98 percent. As mentioned above, this compares with 57 percent for all detainees.

Nationalities Ranked in Top 10 Left ICE Detention
Total Deported/
- ALL 407 234 57.4 %
1 Dominican Republic 241 127 52.6 %
2 Haiti 96 94 97.9 %
3 Brazil 11 2 18.1 %
Spain 11 0 0.0 %
5 Colombia 8 2 25.0 %
6 Venezuela 5 1 20.0 %
7 Dominica 4 2 50.0 %
Mexico 4 3 75.0 %
9 Netherlands 3 0 0.0 %
10 Chile 2 0 0.0 %
Guatemala 2 0 0.0 %
Israel 2 1 50.0 %
Portugal 2 0 0.0 %

Table 4: Numbers leaving ICE detention by nationality
during the last 12 months

With the highest rate of 98 percent were detainees from Haiti where 96 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.

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