San Francisco Returns as Busiest ICE Office for Migrants on ATD
(28 Nov 2023) According to the latest detention data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a total of 18,848 migrants were monitored on ICE’s Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program out of the San Francisco Area of Operations (AOR)—more than any other AOR. In second place was ICE’s Chicago, Illinois, office, which monitors 14,617 migrants and Newark, New Jersey, which monitors 14,054 migrants.

This represents a geographic shift in ICE’s ATD numbers. Until early 2022, San Francisco and Los Angeles routinely had the largest numbers of migrants on ATD, but this began to shift rapidly to Texas—specifically ICE’s offices in San Antonio, Harlingen, and El Paso—which, by December 2022, far outpaced San Francisco’s numbers. However, with the decline of migrants on ATD in Texas, San Francisco has reemerged as the AOR with the largest ATD numbers, hovering around 20,000 since the beginning of 2023.

ICE’s AORs are geographic zones of operations, each with their own ICE regional office. ICE’s San Francisco office oversees ICE activity in California north of Los Angeles. A map of ICE’s AORs is available at ICE’s website online. Although ICE reports ATD numbers by AOR, private contractors who work for BI, Inc., also carry out the everyday duties of monitoring migrants—many of whom are awaiting their day in Immigration Court.

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

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 39,013 in ICE detention according to data current as of November 19, 2023.
  • 27,352 out of 39,013—or 70.1%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of November 19, 2023. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.
  • ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people at the beginning of FY 2024, according to data current as of November 13, 2023.
  • In an update to October 2023 numbers, ICE arrested 6,803 and CBP arrested 17,295 of the 24,098 people booked into detention by ICE.
  • South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees at the beginning of FY 2024, averaging 2,050 per day (as of November 2023).
  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 189,988 families and single individuals, according to data current as of November 18, 2023.
  • San Francisco's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of November 18, 2023.

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

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