ICE Detention Numbers Increase While CBP Encounters and New Deportation Cases Drop
(19 Feb 2024) Although the number of border encounters and new deportation cases dropped in January, the number of people in immigrant detention increased. A total of 38,258 individuals are currently held in detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), representing more than a thousand more people detained than the end of December 2023 when 37,131 immigrants were held in detention on a single day. These detention numbers stand in contrast to other frequently cited migration metrics. According to U.S. Border Patrol, migrant encounters between ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico border dropped by 50 percent in January 2024 compared to December 2023. Similarly, TRAC previously found that the immigration courts received 110,000 fewer cases over that same time span. In the second quarter of FY 2024, the rapid changes in other parts of the U.S. immigration system seem to be trending in the opposite direction compared to the ICE detention rates.

Detention facilities in Texas hold 39 percent of the total population detained by ICE, or a total of 14,806 people. This is more than double that of Louisiana, the second largest state by number of detained individuals, where 6,225 people are detained or 16 percent of the nationwide ICE total. As of February 2024, more than half of all immigrants detained by ICE are held in facilities located in either Texas or Louisiana.

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

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 38,258 in ICE detention according to data current as of February 11, 2024.
  • 25,471 out of 38,258—or 66.6%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of February 11, 2024. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.
  • ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2024, according to data current as of February 5, 2024.
  • ICE arrested 6,508 and CBP arrested 14,026 of the 20,534 people booked into detention by ICE during January 2024.
  • South Texas Fam Residential Center in Dilley, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2024, averaging 1,834 per day (as of February 2024).
  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 186,659 families and single individuals, according to data current as of February 10, 2024.
  • San Francisco's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of February 10, 2024.

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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