Large Numbers at Risk in ICE Detention Facilities for the COVID-19 Virus
(21 Apr 2020) Where are ICE detainees at risk of COVID-19 currently being held? A new report from Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) compiles the latest available data from both the Immigration Courts and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to address this question.

While testing remains very limited, ICE is reported as already identifying 124 individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 across 25 of its detention facilities. Additionally, two recent flights deporting ICE detainees to Guatemala were found to have large numbers of people who were already infected with the virus.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reports they are currently holding 32,309 individuals in custody. According to ICE records that were current as of April 6, 2020, 184 facilities spread throughout the U.S. were used by ICE to detain immigrants at some point during FY 2020. A total of 35 out of the 184 on the list were so-called "dedicated facilities," which exclusively housed ICE detainees and typically contained larger numbers of detainees.

Many ICE detainees only spend brief periods in detention as they are quickly removed from the country. For the 20,935 detainees with cases currently pending before the Immigration Court, periods of confinement can be much longer while they wait for their hearings to be held.

Texas, California, Louisiana, and Arizona each have two facilities among the "top ten" with the largest number of current detainees with pending court cases. Washington state and Mississippi each have one. The largest facility is the Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Texas housing 964. The second largest number are currently held at the Adelanto Detention Center in California with 947 detainees. In third place is the Pearsall Detention Facility in Texas with 833. All of the "top ten" facilities are operated by for-profit companies. The GEO Group operates five out of the ten. CoreCivic operates four.

The latest case-by-case court files current as of March 31, 2020 were analyzed by TRAC utilizing records obtained through a series of Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests.

To read the full report, including details on each of the 184 ICE facilities being used to house detainees, go to:

TRAC's free web query tools which track Immigration Court proceedings have also been updated through March 2020. For an index to the full list of TRAC's immigration tools and their latest update go to:

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