|(09 Oct 2018)
The vast majority (58%) of individuals in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody as of June 30, 2018 had no criminal record.
An even larger proportion - four out of five - either had no record, or had only committed a minor offense such as a traffic violation. Case-by-case records on each of these 44,435 individuals held in ICE custody were recently obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. These data provide a detailed snapshot of ICE custody practices.
Individuals were mainly from four countries. Forty-three percent were from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, while an additional 25 percent were Mexicans. At least 18 percent had resided continuously in the U.S. for ten years or more, and one out of four had been in the country for at least five years.
Many individuals had been held in ICE custody for a relatively short period of time. Forty-one percent had thus far stayed in ICE custody for 30 days or less. At the other extreme, almost 2,000 individuals had been detained for more than a year, and a few individuals had already been continuously detained according to ICE records for over ten years.
The data document the dominance of private for-profit prisons in the large-scale detention of ICE detainees. Overall, fully 71 percent of detainees were housed in facilities operated by private companies. The rest of the facilities were operated by government, including by counties, cities, and the federal government. Texas held 29 percent of all ICE detainees.
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