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Law 360
September 5, 2023

ICE Detentions Highest Since Biden Took Office, Report Says
By Rae Ann Varona

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had 32,743 migrants in its custody as of late August, marking the highest number of migrants detained during President Joe Biden's nearly three years in office, according to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. The number recorded for Aug. 27, according to the data-gathering organization's data on ICE detainees, is an uptick from the 30,184 detained migrants recorded for Aug. 13 and follows a steady creeping trend from the 14,195 migrants in ICE custody on Jan. 22, 2021, the earliest recorded date since Biden took office. TRAC said in its Friday report that the increase in recent weeks has been driven by a steady growth in arrests by both ICE and Customs and Border Protection, with the latter making 71% of arrests as of late August. Holding the most detainees are detention facilities in Texas, which as of Aug. 21 had 10,017 detainees, according to TRAC. Most detainees were held in the South Texas ICE Processing Center in Pearsall, Texas, which held a daily average of 1,261 ICE detainees as of August. TRAC further stated that 66.1% of the migrants held in ICE detention had no criminal record, according to its recent data, with many more having only minor offenses, such as traffic violations. The report also looked at ICE's Alternatives to Detention Program, which allows certain noncitizens to stay out of detention while moving through immigration proceedings or preparing for removal from the U.S. The use of the ATD seemed to pick up after slowing down in recent months, reaching nearly 196,000 at the end of August, up from 194,473 in mid-August and 195,909 at the end of July and nearly 205,000 in mid-July, according to TRAC.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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