ICE's Office in Harlingen, Texas, Replaced by Miami and San Francisco as Monitoring Largest Number of Immigrants in Alternatives to Detention Program
(20 Jul 2023) ICE’s latest data on immigrants enrolled in the agency’s electronic monitoring program known as Alternatives to Detention (ATD) show a change in which regional ICE offices are monitoring the largest numbers of migrants. ICE’s office in Harlingen, Texas, the office with the most migrants on ATD, has been supplanted by Miami and San Francisco, who now monitor more migrants as overall ATD numbers drop across the country.

Starting in late 2021, ICE added the field office in Harlingen, Texas, to its reporting on ATD numbers. Harlingen quickly overtook San Francisco, the ICE office that previously monitored more migrants on ATD than any other office. With the adding of the smartphone app SmartLINK to ICE’s electronic monitoring toolbox, ATD numbers increased rapidly across the country, soaring to over 375,000 in December 2022. A year after being added to ICE’s list of ATD field offices, in December 2022, Harlingen alone had 76,345 immigrants on its ATD rolls. This represented more than one in five of the 376,031 migrants in ATD nationwide.

However, as ATD numbers have declined nationwide over the past six months, so too has Harlingen’s numbers. According to the latest data, Harlingen is down to 18,426 migrants on ATD. At the same time, ICE’s Miami office has emerged as now having the most migrants on ATD, 19,496 as of the middle of this month, while San Francisco has 19,015—both edging out Harlingen for the highest numbers currently. Followed by these three top cities, are Newark with 14,448 and Chicago with 13,505.

Note the following point of potential confusion in ICE’s latest data on ATD. Before November 2020, ICE (and the contractor that runs ATD, BI, Inc.) used the term VoiceID to represent the type of electronic monitoring option that requires migrants to verify their presence at regular intervals using voice matching technology over the telephone. In November 2020, ICE and BI began reporting this same type of monitoring as TR or telephonic reporting. The most recent data once again uses the older label of VoiceID rather than TR.

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

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 31,064 in ICE detention according to data current as of July 16, 2023.

  • 19,330 out of 31,064—or 62.2%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of July 16, 2023. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.

  • ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2023, according to data current as of July 10, 2023.

  • ICE arrested 7,734 and CBP arrested 16,304 of the 24,038 people booked into detention by ICE during June 2023.

  • South Texas ICE Processing Center in Pearsall, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2023, averaging 1,259 per day (as of July 2023).

  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 204,802 families and single individuals, according to data current as of July 15, 2023.

  • Miami's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of July 15, 203.

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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