About the Data - ICE Arrests

Overview. Details on all Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apprehensions have been compiled from arrest-by-arrest records obtained from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These records were obtained after successful court litigation by the co-directors of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. The data are limited to what ICE refers to as "interior arrests." According to ICE, these data do not include arrests made by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when the individual is transferred to ICE for detention and eventual removal.

The data available includes the state and county where each ICE arrest occurred. This was not obtained from ICE as the agency contends it doesn't track the state or county where the apprehension occurred. Painstaking research by TRAC using a mosaic of records obtained from a range of sources, including those derived from hundreds of separate FOIA requests over the span of several years, has allowed TRAC to independently identify the state and county where most arrests occurred. Sometimes the county listed includes closely surrounding areas where it was not possible to further isolate the arrest location.

Coverage. Data for the first phase of TRAC's research on the location of ICE arrests covers each recorded ICE arrest during the period October 2014 - October 2017. Work is continuing. This research initiative to identify arrest locations has been made possible through research grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and The Kresge Foundation. TRAC's goal is to steadily extend this information series to the over 2 million past ICE arrests the Center has collected information on, while updating the series as more ICE arrests occur and information can be compiled.

Using the Data Tool: Dimensions and Definitions

Filtering the data using the three data tables. Select a different factor or dimension to display using the menu at the top of each of the three tables. The tables are inter-connected so that the data filter from left to right. After selecting a factor to display in the left most table, select a particular row category to drill in on by clicking on that row's label in the left-most table. The middle table will then display the details for that particular selection from the left table on the dimension you had chosen to display for the middle table. In other words, if you click on a category in the left table it displays only cases within that class in the middle table. Click on a category in the middle table to display only cases within that selection in the right table. To help you keep track, your selection is displayed at the top of the table to the right.

Sorting the tabular data displayed. By clicking on the column headings in a table, you can sort the tabular data displayed. Clicking on the table column heading for the name of the dimension, sorts each tabular row in alphabetical order. Clicking a second time, sorts in reverse alphabetical order. Clicking on the column heading "Total" reverses the default sort order of largest to smallest to display from the smallest to the largest value.

Selecting what is displayed in the time series graph. The data in the graph updates to reflect the category in the table you selected when clicking on its row label. The title shown above the graph indicates the selection criteria you have chosen. Mouse-over any bar in the graph to view the value being plotted.

There are also two additional controls you can use to change what the graph displays.

  • Monthly versus fiscal year radio buttons. By default, the time series graph displays data for each month. To instead display bars for each fiscal year, choose the "by Fiscal Year" option to the left of the graph.

  • Number/percent radio buttons. By default, the number of cases is displayed in the graph. To instead display the value as a percent of the total for your current selection, choose the "Percent" option to the right of the graph. (Note: 100 percent will be displayed if the total ("All") was the category you have currently selected.)

Data dimensions. To change the set of categories displayed in a table, select a different factor or dimension from the pull-down menu above each table. The following factors can be selected:

  • Fiscal Year. This is always the fiscal year when ICE arrested the individual. The federal government's fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30. So, for example, FY 2017 will return cases from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017.

  • Month and Year. This is the calendar month and year when the individual was arrested by ICE.

  • State. The state in which the arrest took place.

  • County/Surrounding Area. The county in which the arrest took place. On occasion, the county listed includes closely surrounding areas where it was not possible to further isolate the arrest location.

  • Apprehension Method/Agency. Composite developed by TRAC from ICE records identifies how ICE assumed custody ("custodial arrests") from another law enforcement agency versus when the individual was located out in the community ("community or at- large arrests") and was picked up directly by ICE. Custodial arrests usually occur as part of the agency's Criminal Alien Program (CAP) which is conducted in cooperation with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Sometimes it involves a special cooperative relationship with state or local law enforcement agencies under a Memorandum of Agreement through ICE's 287(g) program.

  • Community (At-Large) Arrest. ICE records indicate the individual was located living in the community and arrested directly by ICE.

  • Immigration Violation Deportation Based. The formal legal grounds under immigration statutes on which ICE alleges deportation was warranted. There are a myriad of rules subjecting a person to deportation. These include simply being present in the country without valid documents, entry without inspection, controlled substance violations, willful misrepresentation of material facts, conviction of crimes involving moral turpitude, and many others.

  • Removal Ordered. Whether a removal order has been entered or a previous removal order has been reinstated. If the records indicate the order is an expedited removal order that is also indicated. The fact that removal has been ordered does not imply that the individual has been deported, or even that the removal order is final since there may be ongoing appeals.

  • Latest Status/Disposition. Indicates whether the case is still active or has been completed. Completions include deportation as well as decisions that found the individual was legally entitled to remain in the U.S.

  • Time in U.S. Length of time that available ICE information indicate the individual has resided in the U.S. This information was not made available by ICE for a significant number of individuals.

  • Entry Status. The category that ICE records individuals were placed in when they most recently entered the country. Includes, for example, whether the individual was a legal permanent resident, a non-immigrant, an immigrant, a visitor, was seeking asylum (includes refugees), entered under the visa waiver program, was a parolee, or was present without admission. This information is not recorded by ICE for a significant number of individuals.

  • Most Serious Criminal Conviction (MSCC). The recorded most serious offense the individual was convicted for. Offense categories utilize the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) coding system maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Where there are multiple convictions, ICE identified the most serious offense. Note that ICE has improved it methods for recording criminal convictions so that data for earlier years may be less comprehensive.

  • Seriousness Level of MSCC Conviction. ICE classifies National Crime Information Center (NCIC) offense codes into three seriousness levels. The most serious (Level 1) covers what ICE considers to be "aggravated felonies." Level 2 offenses cover other felonies, while Level 3 offenses are misdemeanors, including petty and other minor violations of the law. TRAC uses ICE's "business rules" to group recorded NCIC offense codes into these three seriousness levels.

  • Age Group. The age of the individual at the time of the arrest. ICE is currently withholding this information and TRAC is disputing this withholding as unlawful.

  • Citizenship. The recorded citizenship of the individual.

  • Gender. The recorded gender of the individual.

For a listing of TRAC reports on other immigration enforcement topics, go here.

Additional TRAC Immigration Enforcement Data and Tools

To access additional data using other TRAC immigration enforcement tools, go to this directory of data tools.