The number of undocumented immigrants in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers and removal proceedings plummeted following the end of the Title 42 order, a health protection policy that helped stop the spread of the coronavirus and stem unregulated entry into the country. slap down.
That’s the finding from a recent report by the Transactional Records Access and Information Center (TRAC) at Syracuse University in New York. The researchers also found that the number of foreigners released on parole or bail under the Alternative Detention Program (ATD) also decreased.
Title 42, a public health regulation that dates back to 1942, was activated in March 2020 as part of efforts to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it was a health protection measure, the rule was used by the Donald Trump government and the first two years of the Joe Biden administration to control undocumented immigration at the border with Mexico through expedited deportations to avoid infection with the virus. was done for.
According to the TRAC report, based on data provided by ICE, the federal government agency in charge of deportation, the number of immigrants in detention centers and in an electronic monitoring program called ATD “reduced when Title 42 took effect.” At midnight on 11 May.
According to official data, the number of migrants detained in ICE jails in early May “fell to 21,293, the lowest since January”, with the number of people detained by customs and security officials being lower than usual. ” Border Agency (CBP),” the report said.
TRAC analysts further noted that the most recent numbers show that Customs and Border Control (CBP) arrested 11,862 people who were held in ICE jails,” provided in one of ICE’s data updates since May 2021. Gone the least”.
People detained by Border Patrol conform to aliens processed under Title 8 of the Immigration Act (for reasons of ineligibility due to crimes or previous deportation) or who, after a prior evaluation, were found to have possible evidence of asylum and Their cases were referred to the Court of Immigration (EOIR) and delivered to the custody of ICE as required by due process.
Official ICE Statistics on Detainees
The TRAC report shows that the majority of immigrants are held in ICE jails in the states of Texas and Louisiana. “Texas arrested 9,882 foreigners out of a total of 21,293, while Louisiana recorded 4,482,” he says.
In third place is California, where 1,779 non-citizens are detained awaiting resolution of their deportation cases, where foreigners can request asylum and a judge decides their future in the United States.
In turn, TRAC adds, there also continued to be a slow “but steady” decline in the number of migrants under ATD. And it said that on May 6, “ICE monitored a total of 242,418 undocumented immigrants held on bond, shackles, or electronic bracelets, compared to 253,146 registered in April.”
“The total was expected to reach a maximum of 377,980 in December 2022,” the researchers said.
Regarding electronic devices on the wrist (watch-type bracelets), ICE announced that it is currently testing GPS monitors through its Denver, Colorado office, but that data has not yet reached the agency’s report. Is.
other report numbers
Other records included in the TRAC report indicate:
- As of May 7, four days before Title 42 was repealed, ICE held 21,293 detainees.
- Of the 21,293 (51.4%) people detained by ICE as of May 7, 10,944 have no criminal records
- There are many other minor offences, which also include moving violations.
- Based on current data through May 1, 2023, ICE expects detention centers located in Texas to house the largest number of people during fiscal year 2023.
- Of the 18,939 people detained by ICE during April 2023, ICE arrested 7,070 and CBP arrested 11,869
- The South Texas ICE Processing Center in Pearsall had the highest number of ICE detentions ever in fiscal year 2023, averaging 1,341 per day (as of May 2023)
Immigrants Released Under ATD
With respect to undocumented immigrants released under ATD, TRAC reports that as of May 6 the federal agency was monitoring 242,418 households and single individuals.
Data provided by the agency also indicates that the ICE office in the Harlingen area of South Texas has the highest number of ATD surveillance programs.
Those registering under SmartLink, a tracking app used by ICE that was put in place during the Trump administration and pushed by Biden, make up a large percentage of cases under ATD, the March report said. “But it has dropped to about 255,600, which is the same level that ICE reported in September 2022.”
The March report also revealed that the total issuance under ATD on that date was:
- 255,615 monitored by SmartLink
- 13,554 did not have tracking technology
- 13,077 Used Telephone Reports
- 5,053 issued with electronic anklets
Why does the ATD program exist?
Because the federal government does not have the resources or response capacity to deport all immigrants who are detained at the border who come to seek asylum and their cases are referred to the Immigration Court (EOIR). And this, in turn, does not have enough resources to speed up the processes: it has accumulated more than 2.2 million files.
Because of this and in exercise of its executive power to optimize the limited resources available to it, the Government:
- It releases people who have no criminal record, do not pose a public danger, and have relatives in the United States.
- they bail
- They are monitored via a handcuff or electronic bracelet and/or paid bond
While free to await resolution of their cases, beneficiaries can obtain legal aid or assistance, build community relationships, attend immigration court, and receive additional assistance in understanding the immigration process.
According to statistics from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), in 2013, the per-person cost for the ATD program was $22 per day, while the cost of detaining a person was at least $150 per day. The federal government spent $5 million per day to detain immigrants that year, while ATD was budgeted for $96 million for the entire year.
In 2019, the daily cost of a detainee reached $750 per day, according to data provided to Congress by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
In 2019 the GAO (Congressional Research Office) found that 95% of people with “full service” ATD (which includes case management) attend their final hearing.
“Non-citizens who are placed in ATDs undergo a public safety risk assessment and verification and are subject to varying levels of reporting and monitoring requirements as appropriate,” ICE says.