Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: First Immigrant Detention Numbers of 2024 Show New Norm

by Kevin Johnson

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: First Immigrant Detention Numbers of 2024 Show New Norm

According to the first immigrant detention data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the new calendar year detention numbers reflect relative stability after periods of growth and decline earlier in the Biden administration.

In recent months, the total number of immigrants detained at any one time has remained steady at just under 40,000 since October. At any given point in time recently, between 9,000 and 11,000 of these detainees were arrested by ICE and the rest—about 26,000-30,000—were arrested by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The number of immigrants monitored through ICE’s Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program remain steady at around 190,000 since July of last year after enormous growth early in the Biden administration that reached nearly 380,000.

ICE’s regular data releases, mandated by Congress, remain an important source of information for the public despite TRAC’s previous findings that these data are not always reliably validated. In addition to these data, ICE is also now producing new data dashboards that show detention numbers with some information, such as nationality, that is not available in its bi-weekly spreadsheets, but lacks many important details, such as length of stay in detention and average daily population per facility, that is present in the spreadsheets.

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

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 37,782 in ICE detention according to data current as of January 13, 2024.
  • 25,422 out of 37,782—or 67.3%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of January 13, 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 January 12, 2024.
  • ICE arrested 7,646 and CBP arrested 13,447 of the 21,093 people booked into detention by ICE during December 2023.
  • South Texas Fam Residential Center in Dilley, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2024, averaging 1,798 per day (as of January 2024).
  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 192,490 families and single individuals, according to data current as of January 13, 2024.
  • San Francisco's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of January 13, 2024.

This post originally appeared on Immigration Prof Blog Reprinted with permission.


About The Author

Kevin Johnson is Dean, Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law, and Professor of Chicana/o Studies. He joined the UC Davis law faculty in 1989 and was named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 1998. Johnson became Dean in 2008. He has taught a wide array of classes, including immigration law, civil procedure, complex litigation, Latinos and Latinas and the law, and Critical Race Theory. In 1993, he was the recipient of the law school's Distinguished Teaching Award.

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