Decline in the Number of People Held in Detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
(14 Sep 2021) According to new data available in an TRAC new easy-to-read 'Quick Facts' tools, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is holding 23,014 immigrants in detention, down from more than 27,000 reported in early July. The overall number is down even though the number of people booked into detention centers actually increased in August to nearly 30,000, up from as low as 7,000 in February. These data reflect overall shorter stays in detention.

Also noteworthy, although ICE offices in San Francisco usually monitor more people through Alternatives to Detention programs than any other office in the country, currently San Antonio has taken the lead and now monitors 12,435 of the 124,054 people on ICE's ATD programs.

Highlights from data updated today on the immigration detention system provided by show that:

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 23,014 in ICE detention according to data released on September 13, 2021.
  • 17,763 out of 23,014—or 77.2%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data released on September 13, 2021. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.
  • ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2021, according to data released on September 13, 2021.
  • ICE arrested 3,333 and CBP arrested 26,383 of the 29,716 people booked into detention by ICE during August 2021.
  • South Texas ICE Processing Center in Pearsall, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2021, averaging 812 per day (as of September 2021).
  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 124,054 families and single individuals, according to data released on September 13, 2021.
  • San Antonio's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data released on September 13, 2021.

For more information, see TRAC's Quick Facts tools here or click here to learn more about TRAC's entire suite of immigration tools.

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