Use of ICE Detainers: Obama vs. Trump
(30 Aug 2017) The latest case-by-case Immigration and Customs Enforcement data reveal that its use of detainers, commonly called immigration holds, began to increase last year well before either the election or inauguration of Donald Trump. Once President Trump assumed office, detainer usage rose rapidly. By March 2017, the second full month of the Trump Administration, ICE recorded preparing 13,971 detainers - up 31.7 percent from January's level.

Against a longer time frame, the number of detainers issued in March of 2017 is still slightly lower than during March of 2014. It is also only half the level of six years ago (March 2011) when ICE detainer usage peaked.

A total of 2,207 law enforcement agencies since Trump assumed office were sent new ICE detainer requests according to agency records. Topping this list was the Harris County Jail in Texas - the county Houston is located in. ICE records indicate that in second place was the Los Angeles County Jail that received 696 detainer requests.

In third place was the Maricopa County Jail in Arizona where Phoenix is located. It was sent a total of 501 detainer requests during February and March of 2017. The Dallas County Jail according to ICE records had the fourth highest total with 432 separate detainer forms addressed to jail officials there. The Gwinnett County Jail -located 30 miles northeast of Atlanta, Georgia -- was in fifth place with 416 detainer requests.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University sought to examine whether the effectiveness of the detainer program shows any improvement under President Trump when judged against this administration's stated goals. TRAC found the agency surprisingly reticent to reveal which detainers resulted in ICE taking individuals into custody, or in actual deportations. Also, in an abrupt about-face, ICE is now withholding any details on the arrest and conviction records of those targeted for detainers.

To read the full report on TRAC's latest findings, including the top 100 law enforcement agencies sent detainers, go to:

A free web-based query tool provides details on all 2,207 law enforcement agencies recently sent ICE detainers along with previous numbers under both the Bush and Obama Administrations:

In addition, many of TRAC's free query tools - which track the court' backlog, new DHS filings, court dispositions, the handling of juvenile cases and much more - have now been updated through June 2017. For an index to the full list of TRAC's immigration tools go to:

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