Wednesday, June 26, 2019

U.S. Government Focus Shifts Away from Detaining Serious Immigrant Criminals

Trac serious

A new report profiles the migrants detained by the U.S. government. Based on case-by-case records recently obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, these "snapshots" of individuals held start in September 2016 and now extend through December 2018. 

As of December 31, 2018, ICE had 47,486 individuals in its custody. The number of detainees was up 22 percent from the 38,810 persons ICE held at the end of September 2016. A free web app accompanying this report allows readers a detailed look at detention practices.

The most striking change was a dramatic drop in the number of individuals who had committed serious crimes. Despite the increasing number of individuals detained, fewer and fewer immigrants who had committed serious crimes were arrested and held in custody by the agency. Their numbers had dropped by over twelve hundred (-1,253), while total detainees ballooned by over eighty-six hundred (8,676) during the same period. Immigrants who had never been convicted of even a minor violation shot up 39 percent.


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