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  Policy and Public Interest Groups
Center for Migration Studies
February 13, 2014

Immigration Detention: Behind the Record Numbers

For example, DHS reported in 2009 that noncitizens were detained for 30 days on average—but 25 percent are released in one day, 38 percent within one week, and 71 percent within one month.[13] These early “releasees” likely include many in summary processes who are quickly deported or accept voluntary departure or return. For example, an independent review of 2012 data received through FOIA showed that of individuals detained for three days or less, 77 percent were deported or voluntarily departed or returned, compared to 20 percent released. Meanwhile, Center for Migration Studies Executive Director Donald Kerwin’s separate 2009 report, based on a one-day snapshot of the detention population obtained through FOIA, found the average length of detention was much longer for those in formal removal proceedings—81 days.[15] The report also found that 13 percent had been detained for six months or longer.....[citing TRAC research].

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