Immigrant Detention Numbers, Driven by CBP Arrests, at Highest Point Since Start of Biden Administration
(01 Sep 2023) According to the latest data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency was detaining 32,743 migrants on August 27, 2023. This is the highest point since the start of the Biden administration. The growth in detention in recent weeks has been driven by a steady growth in arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Overall 23,119 of the total people in detention were arrested by CBP while the remaining 9,624 were arrested by ICE. About 66 percent of all detainees had no criminal record or pending charges and the largest number—10,017—were detained in Texas.

The number of migrants monitored on ICE’s Alternatives to Detention program, at nearly 196,000 at the end of August, appeared to pause its downward slide in recent months and remained just slightly higher than the previous ATD total of about 194,500.

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

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 32,743 in ICE detention according to data current as of August 27, 2023.
  • 21,644 out of 32,743—or 66.1%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of August 27, 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 August 21, 2023.
  • ICE arrested 7,683 and CBP arrested 15,111 of the 22,794 people booked into detention by ICE during July 2023.
  • South Texas ICE Processing Center in Pearsall, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2023, averaging 1,261 per day (as of August 2023).
  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 195,934 families and single individuals, according to data current as of August 26, 2023.
  • San Francisco's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of August 26, 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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