About the Data - Border Patrol Arrests

Overview. Details on each Border Patrol arrest has been compiled from case-by-case records obtained from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University through a long series of individual FOIA requests. The data tool tracks each Border Patrol arrest by when it occurred, where it occurred, and how the Border Patrol disposed of each case. Information on the age, citizenship, gender, and marital status of each person, and whether he or she was apprehended as part of a family group or as an unaccompanied child, is included. For those who entered the country previously, the length of time in the U.S. is shown along with their entry status, including whether they were legal permanent residents.

Information is included for each Border Patrol sector both along the southwest border with Mexico as well as the northern border with Canada.

Coverage. The data currently begin in October 2014 and track Border Patrol apprehensions through April 2018. (Data for two months - August and September 2017 - has not as yet been received.) Additional FOIA requests are currently outstanding for more recent time periods. As more data become available, the App will continue to be updated.

Using the Data Tool: Dimensions and Definitions

Filtering the data using the three data tables. Select a different factor or dimension to display in 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 FY toggle. 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 toggle. 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 Arrested. This is the fiscal year when the Border Patrol arrested the individual. The federal government's fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30. So, for example, FY 2015 will record apprehensions from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015.

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

  • Sector. The Border Patrol sector in which the arrest occurred. For geographic coverage see southwest sector map (page 15/96) as well as a list of "stations" within each sector along both the northern and southern borders.

  • Child/Family Group. Identifies which apprehensions were of unaccompanied children, children in family units, parents in family units, and of all other adults.

  • Arrest Method. Indicates whether the individual was arrested at the border, by an interior patrol, by an anti-smuggling team, or through a check of passengers at interior traffic check points, or through broader transportation checks of passengers on cross-country buses, trains, or planes passing within 100 miles of the border that agents now routinely check. A few individuals are also arrested by some other agency and then turned over to the Border Patrol.

  • BP Disposition. The recorded type of disposition by the Border Patrol of the arrested individual - expedited removal, expedited removal involving credible fear, reinstatement of a prior removal, reinstatement involving reasonable fear, a notice to appear/warrant for arrest when individual is referred to the Immigration Court for a full hearing while still detained, a notice to appear when an individual who has been released is referred to the Immigration Court, or a voluntary return when an individual agrees to be voluntarily returned to their home country. A few individuals are turned over to other law enforcement agencies (LEAs) or are recorded as simply released when their original arrest was presumably unwarranted.

  • Special Initiatives. Tracks which individuals were assigned to various "Consequence Delivery System" categories. These included "Operation Streamline" where individuals are referred for criminal misdemeanor prosecution for illegal entry (later renamed Criminal Consequence Initiative (CCI) - no activity was recorded under this initiative during all of FY 2016), "Straight Prosecution" where individuals are referred for criminal felony prosecutions, the "Alien Transfer Exit Program (ATEP)" where the Border Patrol deports Mexican nationals through geographic areas different from that of their entry location, and its "Operation Against Smugglers Initiative on Safety and Security (OASISS)."

  • Custody Transferred ICE. Indicates whether the individual was transferred to ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) which manages detention facilities licensed to hold detainees for longer term custody.

  • Citizenship. The recorded citizenship of the individual.

  • Gender. The recorded gender of the individual.

  • Age Group. The recorded age of the individual at the time he or she was arrested by the Border Patrol grouped intro broader ranges.

  • Age (Ungrouped). The exact recorded age of the individual at the time he or she was arrested by the Border Patrol

  • Marital Status. The recorded marital status of the individual at the time of the arrest.

  • Time in U.S. The length of time between when the individual was recorded as first entering the U.S. and the date of the Border Patrol arrest.

  • Entry Status. The category recorded corresponding to individual's status when first entering the country. Includes, for example, whether the individual was a legal permanent resident, a non-immigrant, an immigrant, a visitor, or was simply present without admission.

Additional TRAC Immigration Enforcement Data and Tools

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