Relatively Few Deportations Result from ICE Detainers
(01 Feb 2017) A detailed analysis of removal-by-removal ICE records reveals a surprisingly low number of individuals were deported as a result of the use of detainers by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Examining what detainers actually achieved and did not achieve during the Obama and Bush years is important because under the new Trump Administration the use of detainers is likely to surge.

Actual detainer usage to apprehend suspects peaked in March 2010, barely a year after President Obama assumed office, and declined after that. Then only a small proportion of jurisdictions were covered by the Secure Communities Program. By the beginning of FY 2013, relatively few detainers had resulted in actual deportations. Removals of individuals previously targeted with a detainer made up only around a quarter (28%) of ICE removals from the interior, and less than 12 percent of all ICE removals.

By the first three months of FY 2016, removals had fallen further. Only 5 percent of ICE removals from the interior of the U.S. (1,100 cases) were associated with a previously issued ICE detainer or notice. On an annual basis, the pace of detainer-connected removals was about 4,400 a year.

These new findings are based on a detailed analysis by the Transactional Access Records Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University of recently released ICE case-by-case records on removals following the issuance of a detainer. These data were obtained as a result of TRAC's multi-year Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) campaign that included hundreds of FOIA requests, appeals, and a successful lawsuit.

The report also details how a recent and dramatic change in ICE FOIA policies occurred in the waning months of the Obama Administration. These changes in FOIA policies appear to be designed to drastically restrict the already limited flow of data the agency releases to the public. ICE is now withholding the very same types of data it previously released so that continued monitoring of its detainer program will be largely prevented.

For further details see TRAC's full report at:

A free user query tool allows the public access to underlying data behind these findings at:

If you want to be sure to receive notifications whenever updated data become available, sign up at:

or follow us on Twitter @tracreports or like us on Facebook:

TRAC is self-supporting and depends on foundation grants, individual contributions and subscription fees for the funding needed to obtain, analyze and publish the data we collect on the activities of the U.S. federal government. To help support TRAC's ongoing efforts, go to:

Customized queries of TRAC's data TRAC FBI Web Site TRAC DEA Web Site TRAC Immigration Web Site TRAC IRS Web Site TRAC ATF Web Site TRAC Reports Web Site FOIA Project Web Site
Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2017
TRAC What's New TRAC