The number of administrative arrests made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials rose from 108,372 in 2016 ,to 139,552 in 2017—an increase of over 28 percent.
While these interior arrests have been on the rise since 2015, they still remain at half the levels they were between 2008 and 2012, according to an independent report from a group tracking US immigration enforcement.
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) Immigration Project is a comprehensive, multi-year effort at Syracuse University to “systematically go after very detailed information from the government, check it for accuracy and completeness and then make it available in an understandable way to the American people, Congress, immigration groups and others.”
In addition to collecting and analyzing arrest-by-arrest level data, TRAC offers detailed reports on the handling of asylum matters by over 200 judges, as well as a library of government watchdog reports.
According to the report, recently obtained internal arrest records show that in more than seven out of ten arrests, ICE assumed custody of someone already detained by anther law enforcement agency. These patterns of “custodial arrest” have decreased slightly since October 2014, near the end of President Obama’s Safe Communities initiative.
TRAC’s disaggregated data show that the overwhelming number of arrests are made through ICE’s local Criminal Alien Program, versus its state, federal, or 287(g) program (ICE stationed at local jails). In contrast to custodial detentions, community arrests have increased by 31 percent since 2014. TRAC notes that community arrest levels did not decrease between the time the Safe Communities program ended, and Trump took office.
The full report, which includes an analysis of daily patterns of ICE detentions from 2015 to 2017, can be viewed here on TRAC’s website.
This summary was prepared by Victoria Mckenzie, deputy editor of The Crime Report. Readers’ comments welcome.