Putting TRAC to Work
  Policy and Public Interest Groups
The Center for Public integrity
June 25, 2019

Number of ICE Detainees With No Criminal Record Rises Sharply, defying Trump Rhetoric
By Susan Ferriss

Between September 2016 and Dec. 31, 2018, TRAC found, the number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees rose from 38,810 to 47,486 individuals. That represented a 22 percent increase overall in people held in ICE detention, according to TRAC, which specializes in using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain immigration-related records. During this same time period, however, the number of ICE detainees who’d been convicted of serious “level 1” felonies decreased by 17 percent — a drop of 1,243 people. (For a list of level 1 crimes, with outdated numbers of detainees, see here.) TRAC also found during this period, by comparison, that the number of detainees “who had never been convicted of even a minor violation shot up 39 percent.” The data analysis further found that the number of detainees who’d been convicted of minor violations, such as minor traffic violations, increased by 19 percent. Detainees include people taken into custody at the border, during interior enforcement operations and asylum seekers. By the end of 2018, about 43 percent of detainees were from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and 20 percent were from Mexico.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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