ICE Detention Numbers Lowest Since Start of Fiscal Year, ICE Expands Use of GPS Smartwatches
(16 Apr 2024) Immigrant detention numbers are the lowest since the start of the fiscal year in October, reaching 34,580 according to the latest data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last Friday. The decline in detention numbers comes entirely from fewer numbers of detainees who are arrested by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which fell from 25,248 two weeks ago to 22,777 in ICE’s current release. CBP encounters along the Southwest Border, including arrests by Border Patrol between ports of entry, also declined from February to March. Meanwhile, detainees arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have continued to inch upward since the start of the fiscal year, including a minor increase from 11,683 to 11,803 over the past two weeks.

The number of migrants who are electronically monitored by ICE’s alternatives to detention (ATD) program remains remarkably steady, with marginal change from 183,935 two weeks ago to 183,901. However, the agency’s use of GPS smartwatches continues to increase, more than doubling from 365 a month ago to 915 currently. GPS ankle monitors, which had declined to under 5,000 in June 2023, also continues to increase and now stands at 19,513 – up from 18,518 two weeks ago.

Note TRAC’s previous reports that raise concerns about the quality of ICE’s public ATD data, specifically related to the accuracy of data on the number of migrants on GPS ankle monitors.

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

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 34,580 in ICE detention according to data current as of April 7, 2024.

  • 21,201 out of 34,580—or 61.3%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of April 7, 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 April 7, 2024.

  • ICE arrested 7,542 and CBP arrested 14,592 of the 22,134 people booked into detention by ICE during March 2024.

  • South Texas Fam Residential Center in Dilley, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2024, averaging 1,843 per day (as of April 2024).

  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 183,901 families and single individuals, according to data current as of April 6, 2024.

  • San Francisco's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of April 6, 2024.

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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