About the Data - ICE Detention

Overview. These data provide a detailed snapshot of ICE custody practices. The data have been compiled from case-by-case records obtained from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. The records cover all individuals who were in ICE custody at various points in time as recent as of April 30, 2019[1].

Selection, sorting and filtering the data using the three data tables.

Selection. To change the set of categories displayed in a table, select a different factor or dimension from the pull-down menu above each table.

Sorting. 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.

Filtering. 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.

Data dimensions

The following factors can be selected:

  • State Where Individual Held. The state or territory where the detention facility was located.

  • County Where Individual Held. The county where detention facility was located.

  • Facility Name Where Individual Held. Name of the detention facility.

  • Facility Type and Facility Type Detailed. The type of facility and the arrangements used by ICE to use this facility to hold individuals in custody.

  • Facility Operator. The governmental unit or private company that operates the facility.

  • Facility Owner. The government unit or private company that owns the facility.

  • Entered ICE Custody by Month. The calendar year and month the individual was taken into custody by ICE. Length of stay so far is then the time between the date the individual entered custody and the date of the selected snapshot i.e. April 30, 2019.

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

  • Legal Permanent Resident. Whether ICE recorded the individual's category as a green card holder when the person most recently entered the country. This information is not recorded by ICE for a significant number of individuals.

  • Asylum Seeker/Refugee. Whether ICE recorded the individual's category as a asylum seeker or refugee when the person most recently entered the country. 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's 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.

  • Length of Time Since MSCC Conviction. Examines how long ago the individual was convicted compared to the date of the selected snapshot i.e. April 30, 2019.

  • 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 view detailed reports on an individual detention facility, go here. To access additional data using other TRAC immigration enforcement tools, go to this directory of data tools.


[1] These results apply to the composition of individuals in custody at a particular point in time. Because short-stayers are by definition in and out more quickly, they make up an even larger proportion of the distribution of individuals ever held in custody over the span of a full year.