Immigrant Detention Numbers Dip Below 20,000 for the Third Time This Year
(14 Apr 2022) According to new data available in TRAC's Quick Facts detention data tool, immigration enforcement and detention numbers have remained relatively consistent in recent weeks except for notable growth in the number of migrants monitored by ICE's Alternatives to Detention program. At the beginning of April 2022, ICE held 18,846 immigrants in detention centers across the country, falling under 20,000 for the third time this year.

For context, in the summer of 2019 during the Trump administration, data obtained by TRAC from ICE showed that the number of immigrants held in detention at a single point in time reached 55,000. The lowest detention numbers came during the pandemic in February 2021, when just over 13,000 immigrants were detained.

The number of immigrants monitored on ICE's 'Alternatives to Detention' (ATD) program increased to 216,450. ICE’s regional offices in Harlingen (22,148), San Antonio (20,125), and Phoenix (18,695) monitor the largest groups of immigrants, with Los Angeles and San Francisco monitoring between 14,000 and 15,000 each.

These data come at a time when the Biden administration has reportedly requested a reduction in the total number of detention beds funded by Congress from 34,000 to 25,000.

Highlights from data updated today in TRAC's Quick Fact tool show that:

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 18,846 in ICE detention according to data current as of April 11, 2022.

  • 13,135 out of 18,846—or 69.7%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of April 11, 2022. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.

  • ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2022, according to data current as of April 4, 2022.

  • ICE arrested 5,219 and CBP arrested 25,817 of the 31,036 people booked into detention by ICE during March 2022.

  • Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2022, averaging 1,105 per day (as of April 2022).

  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 216,450 families and single individuals, according to data current as of April 9, 2022.

  • Harlingen's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of April 9, 2022.

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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