Tuesday, June 28, 2022
A new report published by TRAC using never before seen data shows that since 2008, Border Patrol has been encountering growing numbers of children, including unaccompanied minors and children within families.
According to TRAC’s findings, there has been a seventeen-fold increase in unaccompanied minors apprehended while trying to cross the US-Mexico border and a striking five-fold rise in all children apprehended. Despite this recent growth of minors arriving at the border, the total number of total border apprehensions remains lower than in the 1990s.
Highlights from TRAC’s recent report include:
- In FY 2011, Border Patrol apprehended 23,089 total children. In FY 2021, that number was 293,218.
- The proportion of children from Mexico has declined since FY 2008, replaced by larger numbers of children from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The proportion of all apprehensions who were children (including unaccompanied and in families) has increased from about 8 percent in FY 2008 to about 37 percent in FY 2019.
- Children apprehended by the Border Patrol have become an increasing proportion of all apprehensions, even taking into account discounting the FY 2020-2021 period when Title 42 expulsions artificially changed the make-up of individuals relegated to those processed under Title 8.
- The proportion of unaccompanied children alone rose from one percent of all Title 8 apprehensions in FY 2008 to 9 percent in FY 2019.
- Recent numbers of border apprehensions remain lower than the early 1950s and the 1990s, especially when apprehensions relative to the country’s population are taken into account.
- Beginning largely in FY 2019 there has been a sharp increase from other countries including Brazil, Ecuador and Nicaragua, with some growth from Venezuela, Cuba, Chile, and Haiti, as well as Romania and, for a time, India.
These findings were made possible as a result of a decade-long effort involving more than a hundred separate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). TRAC analyzed over 6.5 million Border Patrol apprehensions for this report.
- Austin Kocher
Monday, June 27, 2022
New OIG Report: Limited-Scope Inspection and Review of Video Teleconference Use for Immigration Hearings
The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice issued a new report this month, Limited-Scope Inspection and Review of Video Teleconference Use for Immigration Hearings. The report, which is available here, evaluates the use of videoconferencing in EOIR's "tent courts" in Brownsville and Laredo, Texas. These "tent courts," which operated in an expanse of inter-connected tents and shipping containers, rely exclusively on televideo to adjudicate the cases of noncitizens seeking asylum in the MPP program, also commonly known as "Remain in Mexico."
The OIG makes a number of recommendations for improving video hearings, including improved training, guidance, interpretation, and technical capacity. Among other findings, the report concludes:
"[B]ased on our observations and discussions with hearing participants, we believe that it was potentially difficult at times for respondents at the IHF to follow the hearing process and clearly differentiate the distinct roles of certain participants—particularly the immigration judge as neutral adjudicator versus the DHS trial attorney litigating the removal—due in part to the positioning of the participants on the video monitor. We identified several areas with potential to improve the quality and efficiency of virtual immigration hearings. For example, the majority of immigration judges, attorneys, and interpreters we interviewed who expressed an opinion on the subject believed simultaneous interpretation to be preferable and more efficient than consecutive interpretation, though EOIR is currently limited in its ability to provide simultaneous interpretation for remote hearings. In addition, we identified areas where additional training or information technology resources may be necessary to adequately support EOIR’s expanding use of remote hearings. Further, we found that EOIR must continue efforts to improve its processing of the volume of paper documents that may be filed for immigration cases, particularly those involving MPP respondents. Lastly, we found that EOIR must ensure both that respondents have adequate access to information on their rights in the immigration process and that it is meeting requirements for transparency and public access for immigration hearings, including those conducted virtually.
Sunday, June 19, 2022
We spent our first summer vacation at Yosemite National Park. It was my third visit to the park and much is the same. The scenery in Yosemite Valley remains spectacular: granite rock faces, rushing water falls, popping wildflowers. The unexpected treasure was Mariposa Grove and nearby Wawona, at the south entrance to the park: majestic giant sequoias, scarred from wildfire and yet with leaves reaching for the sky and glistening with afternoon sunlight. Ranger Connie Lau, who was until recently a high school teacher, took us on a walk that prompted us to observe and connect with the natural world. She asked us about our roots before describing the expansive root system that holds steady these giants, the protective devices that keep us healthy such as nutrition and hydration, and what makes us stand tall. Her last question to the group was about legacy, taking note that the oldest of the sequoias had been dated 3,000 years and that the grove had lived through generations of parkgoers and national affairs. She recommended we consider those who built the paths we walked on... and provided the services that made possible our visits through the decades. That led her to recommend the Chinese laundry exhibit, adjacent to the Wawona Hotel, a few short miles from the Mariposa Grove.
Drawing on research from Park Ranger Yenyen Chan (who had interned at NPS while a Yale undergraduate), this in-depth feature from the Sierra Club explains that the exhibit opened in October 2021 to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the park and the workers who contributed to and sustained it. The Gold Rush fueled interest in the Sierras and Yosemite Valley. In order to accommodate the visitors, Yosemite built two stagecoach roads and employed Chinese immigrant workers who had grown disillusioned with gold prospecting after the imposition of taxes on foreign miners. In the 1870s, 300 immigrants worked to build roads by carving and blasting a path to the Wawona hotel. In 1882, 250 Chinese workers worked alongside other laborers to build a 56-mile road from Crocker’s Station to Tioga Pass, at 9,945 feet. The Chinese were paid $1.20 per day, while the European American workers made $1.50 per day.
Rangers discovered the humble brown structure and cast aside relics of the Chinese laundry workers who cleaned and pressed clothing and hotel linens for the Wawona Hotel before the structure fell into disuse. This is the site of the new exhibit. Displays showcase historic photographs, artwork, and artifacts found in the park over a century ago. There is a 1915 photo of the beloved backcountry cook Tie Sing with Stephen T. Mather and the Mather Mountain Party as well. There are some interactive activities for visitors, asking them about their experiences with migration or to explain the hardest job they've ever done on a slip of cloth to be hung on a clothes line. The most moving to me was an activity inspired by the tradition of Chinese laundries in America, which would enclose a small piece of paper with Chinese calligraphy into finished pieces of laundry. Visitors are asked to write a note of encouragement to the Chinese laundry workers. The visitors before us wrote notes of thank you for their contributions and their sacrifices. My family, born of Chinese immigrants to the US post-1965, added to their thanks and included an apology for the Chinese Exclusion Act and discrimination that would follow notwithstanding their contributions. We also included assurances that their legacy would be remembered through exhibits such as this one and the small but growing contingent of Chinese American rangers committed to telling their stories.
Thursday, June 16, 2022
During the last six months, over 5,000 asylum seekers have been required to remain in Mexico under the current implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)—also known as MPP 2.0—while awaiting their Immigration Court hearings.
A new report by TRAC at Syracuse University finds that most of these cases in MPP are being completed within the 180-day time frame set by the administration, but the problem with low rates of access to attorneys and unusually low rates of asylum success that plagued the first implementation of MPP continue this year. Just 27 people so far—or 2.4 percent of the 1,109 completed cases—have been granted asylum. By comparison, about 50 percent of asylum cases inside the United States were granted asylum over that same time period.
Key findings from the report include:
- 5,114 asylum seekers have been added to MPP 2.0 along the US-Mexico border
- 1,109 cases in MPP 2.0 have been completed.
- 27 people received asylum so far, or 2.4% of completed cases. About 50% of asylum seekers not in MPP were successful over the same time period.
- 81% of the 129 cases added to MPP in December 2021 have been completed, which nearly meets the Biden administration’s 180-day timeline.
- The immigration court in Brownsville, Texas, has the most MPP cases: 2,752 in total. That’s more than half of all MPP cases.
- Only 5% of asylum-seekers in MPP 2.0 have found attorneys.
See TRAC’s full detailed report here: https://trac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/686
Monday, June 13, 2022
New ICE detention data tracked by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University show that detention numbers may be on their way back up this month. TRAC's press release below is also available on their website here.
After hovering around 20,000 for several months, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's detained population reached 24,591 at the start of June. Most of the people in detention (76 percent or 18,796) were arrested by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). But immigrants arrested by ICE—a total of 5,795—were at the highest number since March 2021. These numbers could signify a slow return to pre-pandemic levels of immigration detention along with a parallel growth of immigrants monitored by ICE's Alternatives to Detention program.
At the same time that ICE's detained population is growing, the number of immigrants monitored on ICE's electronic monitoring technology has grown to a record high of 266,439. SmartLINK, which now makes up the vast majority of technology used to monitor immigrants, has added over 1,000 people per day over the past month, while the number of immigrants monitored on GPS ankle monitors has declined to less than 20,000, the lowest in several years.
Highlights from data updated in TRAC's Quick Fact tool show that:
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 24,591 in ICE detention according to data current as of June 5, 2022.
- 17,911 out of 24,591—or 72.8%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of June 5, 2022. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.
- ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2022, according to data current as of May 31, 2022.
- ICE arrested 5,159 and CBP arrested 20,971 of the 26,130 people booked into detention by ICE during May 2022.
- Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2022, averaging 1,086 per day (as of May 2022).
- ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 266,439 families and single individuals, according to data current as of June 3, 2022.
- Harlingen's area office has the highest number of people in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, a total of 38,282 people, according to data current as of June 3, 2022.
Friday, June 10, 2022
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has released an important new report available here titled No Fighting Chance: ICE’s Denial of Access to Counsel in U.S. Immigration Detention Centers.
The report was authored by Aditi Shah, Borchard Fellow, and Eunice Hyunhye Cho, Senior Staff Attorney, of the ACLU National Prison Project.
The report is not to be missed! The authors examined conditions at 173 detention facilities around the country, and found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities have systematically restricted basic modes of communication between attorneys and detained immigrants, deterring attorneys from providing representation to detained people, who are often held in detention facilities in geographically isolated locations.
In the ACLU's press release, author Aditi Shah is quoted saying: "Not only are these barriers to legal representation unconstitutional – they also increase the likelihood that people will be unlawfully held in prolonged detention or deported. In that regard, access to counsel can literally be a matter of life or death for people, either by virtue of being held in dangerous conditions for extensive periods or returned to the violence they fled."
Friday, June 3, 2022
A visit to the Angel Island Immigration Station is now enhanced by the newly-opened Immigration Museum. While the historic immigration station focuses on Chinese immigration during the time period 1880-1940, the new immigration museum brings immigration history up to date, from 1940-modern day. The new museum is located within the renovated hospital adjacent to the original station, and it fittingly begins with discussion of how gatekeeping figures into entry, public health inspections, and quarantines. The rest of the immigration museum depicts other dimensions of immigration exclusion, tracing change - or the lack thereof) -over time and across different immigration groups.
The exhibits are engaging and informative, with multimedia video and audio displays, original artifacts, and meeting spaces for community events. There is some interaction, such as the separate doors to the museum labeled "European" and "non-European"; a guide told us there was a third door for "Chinese" that is not reproduced. Inside the building, one exhibit begins with the Chinese Exclusion Act and then continues with Asiatic Barred Zones that impeded entry from Japanese and Korean immigrants before mentioning the Hart Cellar Act of 1965 that eliminated national origin quotas and ending in a display of 140 candles to "light the darkness" since Chinese Exclusion. There are pointed references to continuities between immigration detention of the Chinese, Japanese and Korean immigrants, and Central American immigrants in modern detention, including the practice of family separation. Another exhibit highlights the changing origins of refugees. Not to dwell only on the dark side of immigration history, there are displays celebrating contributions of immigrants to the U.S. -- to small businesses, technology, and more generally.
While I've been studying immigration history for a long time and first visited Angel Island as a child, I learned a lot from the new museum. If you cannot make it to Angel Island in-person, the website has an impressive virtual gallery that includes 3D tours of some of the exhibits.
Thursday, May 26, 2022
New Report: The Biden Administration’s Dedicated Docket: Inside Los Angeles’ Accelerated Court Hearings for Families Seeking Asylum
A new report by students in UCLA Law's Immigrants' Rights Policy Clinic, “The Biden Administration’s Dedicated Docket: Inside Los Angeles’ Accelerated Court Hearings for Families Seeking Asylum,” was released today. UCLA Law students Tiffany Kim, Jordan Smiley, and Katherine Wardlaw co-authored the report, under the supervision of Professors Talia Inlender and Hiroshi Motomura
As we have posted on the blog previously, over one year ago, the Biden administration launched a so-called “Dedicated Dockets” initiative to adjudicate the cases of families seeking asylum. The Docket, also sometimes referred to a "rocket docket" because of its focus on high-speed case adjudication, is now operating in eleven cities in the United States. The new report takes an in-depth look at the operation of the Dedicated Docket in Los Angeles and highlights due process concerns raised by the program's implementation.
The report’s findings are grim: 70% of people on the Dedicated Docket in Los Angeles are unrepresented, and 99% of completed cases as of February 1, 2022 resulted in removal orders. The impact on young children is also significant: nearly half of the Docket is made up of children, and a quarter are under the age of six. The report also found that 150 children--some less than a year old--were ordered removed in absentia, most without a lawyer.
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
TRAC, a research institute at Syracuse University, updated their immigrant detention 'Quick Facts' yesterday with new data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
According to the organization's press release, TRAC found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) held 22,281 immigrants in detention on May 7, 2022, the highest number in detention since the beginning of 2022.
The rest of the press release is shared below:
The number of immigrants monitored on ICE's electronic monitoring program known as ISAP or Alternatives to Detention continued its march upward to about 240,000. The vast majority of these, nearly 187,000, were monitored using a smartphone app called SmartLINK, while GPS ankle monitor use actually declined to less than 23,000, the smallest since 2020 when TRAC began tracking these data.
Importantly, these data show that the number of immigrants in detention and the number of immigrants monitored on ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program can increase at the same time. Although ICE calls its program "Alternatives" to Detention, the agency makes clear on its website that its ATD program is "not a substitute for detention, but allows ICE to exercise increased supervision over a portion of those who are not detained." Thus, growth in ATD supervision does not necessarily correspond to a decline in immigrant detention.
The Transactional Research Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) a research organization at Syracuse University created 'Quick Facts' tools to provide a user-friendly way to see the most updated data available on immigrant detention and the immigration courts. The tools include easy-to-understand data in context and provide quotable descriptions.
Highlights from data updated today on the immigration detention system provided by show that:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 22,281 in ICE detention according to data current as of May 7, 2022.
16,034 out of 22,281—or 72.0%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of May 7, 2022. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.
ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2022, according to data current as of May 5, 2022.
ICE arrested 5,083 and CBP arrested 20,317 of the 25,400 people booked into detention by ICE during April 2022.
Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2022, averaging 1,080 per day (as of May 2022).
ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 239,957 families and single individuals, according to data current as of May 7, 2022.
Harlingen's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of May 7, 2022.
Monday, May 16, 2022
Climbing the Ladder: Roadblocks Faced by Immigrants in the New York City Construction Industry by Jacquelyn Pavilon and Vicky Virgin.
The Center for Migration Studies is releasing a new report, Climbing the Ladder: Roadblocks Faced by Immigrants in the New York City Construction Industry by Jacquelyn Pavilon and Vicky Virgin.
To join a webinar discussing the new report, register here. CMS Executive Director, Donald Kerwin will moderate the discussion. Here is a summary of the report's findings:
The report found that between 2015 and 2019, 41 percent of foreign-born construction workers in New York City were undocumented; unionized foreign-born construction workers in New York State earn 64 percent more than their nonunionized foreign-born counterparts; and undocumented and foreign workers with limited English proficiency are more likely to work in construction occupations with higher fatality rates.
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
On May 4, 2022, the World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, released a new report: Addressing the health challenges in immigration detention, and alternatives to detention: a country implementation guide (2022). The report concludes that detention can have severe, negative impacts on the health of migrants, both during and after detention. Although international law provides that detention should only be a "last resort, and never for children," reliance on detention is growing across Europe.
A full copy of the report is available here.
Here is an abstract describing the report's key findings:
This country implementation guide outlines current evidence, knowledge and best practices relating to the health and health challenges of refugees and migrants in immigration detention, as well as alternatives to detention.
It highlights key principles and international commitments, summarizes the current status and health challenges and provides practical considerations for addressing the health challenges of refugees and migrants in immigration detention, as well as the implementation of alternatives to detention.
Specific areas for intervention include providing comprehensive training for staff, ensuring safeguards, providing psychological support and providing tools to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
The guide also promotes engagement-based alternatives to detention. While the main intended audience is policy-makers across sectors at local, national and regional levels, the guide is also of value for health planners, relevant ministries, international organizations, management of immigration detention facilities and their staff, and researchers.
Just Futures Law along with a coalition of other immigration organizations sought to examine the extent to which Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is using Clearview AI to facilitate immigration enforcement.
Clearview AI is a software company that has created a massive facial recognition database by scraping and scanning billions of personal photos from the internet, including social media platforms. The company then sells access to this trove of information to thousands of law enforcement agencies, including ICE, and makes it possible to find people’s names and social media accounts and identify them as they protest, shop, and seek essential and sensitive government services.
Thanks to litigation work from the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act, Just Futures Law has been able to release new findings as a result of documents received from the Department of Homeland Security.
Just Futures Law's findings are available in a fact sheet. The timeline of the research and the factsheet can be found here: https://justfutureslaw.org/ice-clearview-foia/.
A Regional Expert Paper Series is being released with sponsorship from the Center for Mexico and Central America (CeMeCA) at Columbia University. The series features high-quality, cutting-edge empirical research by Central American, Mexican, and U.S.-based investigators and academics and can be used to help with preparation of asylum cases.
One strand of the initiative includes translations of selected reports, papers, and data from research centers in Central America and Mexico that would not otherwise be available in English. The purpose of the series is to make local knowledge and area studies expertise more broadly accessible. The series is curated by anthropologists Amelia Frank-Vitale (Princeton) and Lauren Heidbrink (CSU-Long Beach). The first paper, Conditions of Children and Youth in Guatemala, authored by investigators Lauren Heidbrink, Sandra Chu Norato, and María García Maldonado, examines the underlying conditions of children’s lives in Guatemala, highlighting the relevant laws, policies, and institutional practices that shape the everyday lives of children and youth and that lead to their migration. Drawing from the authors' experiences in Guatemala as researchers, attorneys, and practitioners, the report details how ‘laws on the books’ may conflict with ‘laws in practice,’ identifying where the Guatemalan government is either unwilling or unable to ensure basic protections and rights for children.
An invitation to area studies researchers to contribute with submission guidelines has also been released: Call for Papers.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the series.
MHC (H/T Lenni Benson)
Friday, April 29, 2022
TRAC, a research institute at Syracuse University, updated its ICE detention and alternatives to detention data yesterday, showing continued growth in the number of people monitored by SmartLINK. TRAC's press announcement is reproduced below and also available here.
According to new data available in TRAC's Quick Facts detention data tool, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is now monitoring 227,508 immigrants using 'alternatives to detention' (ATD) technology. The most common ATD technology used by ICE is SmartLINK, a smartphone app, with more than 172,000 people (or more than 75 percent of all people on ICE's ATD caseload) monitored by this technology.
At the end of April 2022, ICE held 19,502 immigrants in detention centers across the country. ICE's reported detention numbers have hovered around 20,000 since the beginning of the calendar year. These data come at a time when the Biden administration has also reportedly requested a reduction in the total number of detention beds funded by Congress from 34,000 to 25,000.
Highlights from data updated today in TRAC's Quick Fact tool show that:
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 19,502 in ICE detention according to data current as of April 24, 2022.
- 13,445 out of 19,502—or 68.9%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of April 24, 2022. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.
- ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2022, according to data current as of April 18, 2022.
- ICE arrested 5,225 and CBP arrested 25,817 of the 31,042 people booked into detention by ICE during March 2022.
- Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2022, averaging 1,095 per day (as of April 2022).
- ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 227,508 families and single individuals, according to data current as of April 23, 2022.
- Harlingen's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of April 23, 2022.
– Austin K.
Thursday, April 28, 2022
Registration link: https://ucsd.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUkdeutrTsvHNeXckqeS48TGml4XvbhFkhi
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
The phenomenon of "Documented DREAMers" looms large in Silicon Valley. In the land of technology companies that employ foreign workers, the children of these foreign workers accompany their parents as derivatives on temporary work visas such as an H-1B visa. Over time, the children age and now 40,000 of these children are approaching adulthood and struggling to find independent ways to stay in the U.S.
Congress contemplated the scenario of aging out and enacted the Child Status Protection Act to make up for administrative delays that contribute to an immigrant child no longer being considered a minor for purposes of a derivative visa. However, as described in a prior ImmigrationProf blog post, aging out is exacerbated by the decades-long wait times to apply for admission from countries like India and China and excessive USCIS backlogs. Like other DREAMers, these children have lived large chunks of their lives in the U.S. and may face difficulty returning to a homeland they scarcely know. Unlike other DREAMers, these children are ineligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program because they were in lawful status when they entered the U.S.
The Bay Area's public radio station KQED offers these profiles of documented DREAMers.
Friday, April 22, 2022
A feature by Reid Wilson in The Hill higlights annual report data from the Department of Homeland Security showing that the number of immigrants to the US decreased during the pandemic from nearly every region of the world. Some key facts:
- Just over 700,000 new people won lawful residence in the last fiscal year, down from more than a million people who became lawful residents in each of the previous six years.
- One in seven of those who gained permanent legal residence, 100,325 people, came from Mexico, a higher share than any other nation.
- More people moved from Asian countries — 272,000 — than from North American countries — 222,000 — and any other continent. About 46,000 people moved in from India, and another 41,000 moved from China.
The full report and maps are worth a look.
Thursday, April 21, 2022
Naturalization remains an important step for lawful residents to obtain the rights and benefits of U.S. citizenship. Yet there has been a well documented backlog, despite an interagency effort from the USCIS to catch up on the backlog.
Under the current Immigration & Nationality Act and the Administrative Procedures Act a Writ of Mandamus may be filed in the U.S. District Court if the USCIS has failed to issue a decision on a properly filed immigration application after a “reasonable” period of time. Typically, this is defined as 6 months.
The district court will review the matter and may take one of several actions. The court is permitted to issue an order requiring that USCIS make a decision on the application within a specific period of time, generally 30 to 90 days. The court is allowed to dismiss or terminate the lawsuit if it believes that the individual does not meet the requirements for the application or if it believes the delay by the USCIS is reasonable, necessary or permissible.
A practice advisory from the American Immigration Council on how to file a mandamus lawsuit (here) or APA challenge (here). Statistics on litigation to compel action on naturalization kept by TRAC here. Additional studies of naturalization rates, denials, and disparities by Emily Ryo & Reed Humphrey (data from FOIA request) and myself here.
Thursday, March 31, 2022
New TRAC Data: Number of Migrants on ICE's Alternatives to Detention Program Crosses 200,000 For the First Time
According to new data available in TRAC's Quick Facts detention data tool, immigration enforcement and detention numbers have remained consistent in recent weeks except for notable growth in the number of migrants monitored by ICE's Alternatives to Detention program. On March 27, 2022, ICE held 20,733 immigrants in detention centers across the country, up very slightly from 20,146 at the beginning of the month.
The number of immigrants monitored on ICE's 'Alternatives to Detention' (ATD) program increased to 200,332, consistent with growth in ATD that TRAC reported on recently. The largest single group of migrants on ATD technology were located in ICE's Harlingen area of responsibility in southern Texas. Although ICE does not provide historical data on ATD numbers, TRAC's Quick Facts tools makes it possible to get historical data compiled from each of ICE's data releases. See TRAC's detailed and searchable ATD table here.
Highlights from data updated today in TRAC's Quick Fact tool show that:
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 20,733 in ICE detention according to data current as of March 27, 2022.
- 15,033 out of 20,733—or 72.5%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of March 27, 2022. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.
- ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2022, according to data current as of March 14, 2022.
- ICE arrested 3,723 and CBP arrested 21,912 of the 25,635 people booked into detention by ICE during February 2022.
- Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2022, averaging 1,117 per day (as of March 2022).
- ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 200,332 families and single individuals, according to data current as of March 26, 2022.
- Harlingen's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of March 26, 2022.
Original post online here: https://trac.syr.edu/whatsnew/email.220331.html
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
The Biden administration budget reflects an effort to reduce backlogs on both immigration benefits and immigration court proceedings. While the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, the service agency within US Department of Homeland Security, is primarily funded through application fees, President Biden also asked Congress to give USCIS another $765 million to finance the backlog reduction effort. Immigration court funding is appropriated through the U.S. Department of Justice.
Within the agency, USCIS will set more ambitious backlog reduction goals, expand premium processing to additional form types, and work to improve timely access to employment authorization documents. Said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou in a press release:
“Every application we adjudicate represents the hopes and dreams of immigrants and their families, as well as their critical immediate needs such as financial stability and humanitarian protection.”
The backlog of applications before USCIS is part of a broader logjam in the immigration system. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resource constraints, and exclusionary policies resulting from the prior administration, USCIS inherited a significant backlog in N-400s and military naturalizations; they were sometimes troubling disparities across regional offices and among applicant types. The Justice Department is currently overseeing 1.7 million unresolved court cases of immigrants facing deportation, while the State Department is handling a backlog of over 400,000 immigrant visa applicants waiting for interviews at U.S. consulates, which limited operations during the pandemic.