Persons Held in ICE Custody Rose in January 2023 While Alternatives to Detention (ATD) Numbers Fell
(07 Feb 2023) ICE detention numbers have begun to rise from earlier lows over the holidays. As of January 29, 2023, a total of 24,170 immigrants were reported held in ICE detention. An increase in CBP arrests at the border so far during January 2023 helped fuel this rise.

In contrast, the number of individuals in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program continued declining throughout January. Total ATD enrollment was reported as dropping by more than 50,000 since December 31, 2022, or 14 percent. Those with SmartLINK declined from 296,041 to 280,089, a drop of 15,952. Small declines were reported for GPS ankle monitors (down 751) and VoiceID (down 849). But the largest decline — 59 percent — were immigrants on ATD but listed as "No Technology." Their numbers fell from 57,837 to 23,912 between December 31 and January 28, 2023.

TRAC continues to urge caution when using and interpreting ATD data since ICE has publicly admitted to posting incorrect numbers and has not produced underlying records to substantiate the agency's public data announcements. Indeed, last Thursday ICE OPLA wrote TRAC turning down our FOIA administrative appeals. ICE affirmed the agency's earlier responses that "no records" could be located substantiating ATD posted statistics. See TRAC's previous reports on December 14, 2022, December 23, 2022, and January 9, 2023.

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

  • 14,732 out of 24,170—or 61.0%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of January 29, 2023.
  • ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2023, according to data current as of January 23, 2023.
  • ICE arrested 5,849 and CBP arrested 13,877 of the 19,726 people booked into detention by ICE during January 2023.
  • South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2023, averaging 1,372 per day (as of January 2023).
  • Harlingen's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of January 28, 2023.

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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