No detention centre mapping data


United States Immigration Detention

The United States operates the world’s largest immigration detention system. On any given day, the country has some 30,000 people in administrative immigration detention at an estimated cost of nearly $150 a day. In 2016, the combined budget of enforcement agencies was $19 billion. The country’s sprawling detention estate counts on some 200 facilities, including privately operated detention facilities, local jails, juvenile detention centres, field offices, and euphemistically named “family residential centres.” The country has also supported the detention of migrants and asylum seekers in neighbouring countries.  

Quick Facts


Immigration detainees (2017): 323,591
Detained asylum seekers (2016): 44,270
Immigration detention capacity (2017): 44,000
Persons expelled (2016): 446,223
International migrants (2015): 46,627,100
New asylum applications (2017): 137,697

Profile Updated: May 2016

United States Immigration Detention Profile

 

INTRODUCTION

Immigration detention is at the centre of numerous heated public debates in the United States, including about the treatment of undocumented children and families, the growth of the private prison industry, the use of jails for immigration purposes, and the increasing convergence between immigration law and the criminal justice system. The country has also been criticized for its efforts to pressure and in some cases pay other countries to detain migrants and asylum seekers so they do not reach U.S. borders.[1]

The size and cost of U.S. immigration detention and removal operations have spiralled since the 1990s. The number of people placed in detention annually increased from some 85,000 people in 1995 to a record 477,523 during fiscal year (FY) 2012.[2] While the Obama administration began instituting detention reforms in 2009, which among other things led to a reduction in the use of prisons for immigration purposes, the number of immigration detainees increased every year between 2009 and 2012.[3] The country has also deported record numbers of non-citizens in recent years, peaking at 438,421 “removals” in FY 2013[4] (in addition to nearly 180,000 “returns”[5]).

According to a 2014 study on the history of immigration control policies in the United States, between 1986 and 2012, the United States spent some $187 billion on immigration enforcement. In 2012, the government spent nearly $18 billion on enforcement, “approximately 24 percent higher than collective spending for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.”[6] By 2014 the annual cost of the detention portion of the immigration enforcement budget had grown to roughly $2 billion, or approximately $5 million a day (or $159 per detainee/day).[7] The U.S. president’s FY 2017 budget request for detention beds and transportation was $1.75 billion.

However, detention numbers have recently begun to decline.[8] During FY 2015, deportations (“removals”) decreased by nearly 200,000 to 235,413.[9] Similarly, during the first half of FY 2015, the average daily detainee population was 26,374, down from 33,000 the year before.

U.S. officials explain that these decreases reflect fewer numbers of unauthorised arrivals as well as increased efforts to target convicted criminals for removal. According to official statistics, there were 337,117 border apprehensions in 2015,[10] which was the lowest number since 1972.[11] These decreases were also reflected in declining annual detention bed mandates. As of FY 2014, U.S. Congress mandated that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds at all times.” This number decreased to about 31,000 in FY 2015.[12]  

National and international advocacy groups—including the Detention Watch Network, the Women’s Refugee Commission, and the International Detention Coalition—have long contended that the United States could achieve similar enforcement results at much lower costs if it decreased detention operations and ramped up “alternatives to detention.” A 2013 study by the National Immigration Forum contended, “Less wasteful and equally effective alternatives to detention exist. Estimates from the Department of Homeland Security show that the costs of these alternatives can range from 70 cents to $17 per person per day. If only individuals convicted of serious crimes were detained and less expensive alternative methods were used to monitor the rest of the currently detained population, taxpayers could save more than $1.44 billion per year—almost an 80 percent reduction in annual costs.”[13]

 

LAWS, POLICIES, PRACTICES

History. The first office for federal immigration control in the United States was established in 1864. However, it was not until the Immigration Act of 1882, which provided that immigration regulation was the responsibility of the federal government, that operations at the office began in earnest.[14] Passage of the Immigration Act as well as other restrictionist measures at the time, like the Chinese Exclusion Act, helped lead to the opening of arguably the first U.S. immigration detention centre, on Ellis Island in New York Harbour in 1892.[15] A sister facility was opened on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay in 1910.[16]

After Ellis Island closed in 1954, the practice of immigration detention appears to have largely faded. However, significant increases in Caribbean migration and refugee flows beginning in the 1970s helped spur renewed focus on detention. The modern U.S. immigration detention system began to take shape in the early 1980s, when the Reagan-era INS began systematically apprehending undocumented migrants from certain countries and opened a number of new detention centres in Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland to cope with the resulting surge in detainees.[17] According to one account, “Prior to the 1980s, the INS enforced a policy of detaining only those individuals deemed likely to abscond or who posed a security risk.”[18]

In a key U.S. Supreme Court case from the time, Jean v. Nelson (1985), the court overturned a mandatory detention policy put in place in 1981 that strictly targeted Haitian nationals. A U.S. immigration law scholar told the Global Detention Project, “To a large extent once the Jean v. Nelson decision came down and the Reagan administration did not have the authority to detain only Haitians, the current detention system was born, i.e. detain all nationalities.”[19]

A year after this court ruling, in 1986, the government passed the Immigration Control and Reform Act (IRCA), which combined the legalization of certain undocumented immigrants with stepped up internal enforcement and control measures. IRCA marked a significant moment in the U.S. approach to immigration by cementing enforcement of immigration restrictions as a cornerstone of U.S. policy. According to a 2005 assessment, “Overall spending on enforcement activities has ballooned from pre-IRCA levels, with appropriations growing from $1 billion to $4.9 billion between FY 1985 and 2002 and staffing levels increasing greatly. Resources have been concentrated heavily on border enforcement, particularly the Border Patrol. Spending for detention and removal/intelligence activities multiplied most rapidly over this period, with an increase in appropriations of over 750 percent.”[20]

With the adoption of the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), the number of non-citizens who could be placed in mandatory immigration detention significantly expanded. The INS subsequently ramped up available bed space for detainees. By 2014, DHS was mandated to ensure that there were 34,000 beds available daily for immigration detention purposes.[21]

Key norms. U.S. law governing immigration detention is provided in several acts, which are consolidated in Section 8 of the U.S. Code. In addition, there are a large number of memorandums, guidance documents, and policy statements issued by ICE and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that relate to immigration detention.

It has long been recognized that non-citizens, including those in the United States unlawfully, are entitled to the fundamental guarantees of the Constitution. As early as 1903, the Supreme Court ruled that a non-citizen could not be deported without an opportunity to be heard that met constitutional due process requirements, although this did not necessarily mean an opportunity for a judicial proceeding.[22]

Once non-citizens have entered the country, they are theoretically granted protection against deprivation of liberty without due process regardless of their immigration status.[23] Nevertheless, they can receive very different treatment because removal proceedings are considered “administrative,” which means that people in immigration procedures have fewer due process guarantees than people in criminal proceedings. As one expert who was consulted for this profile said, “There is no right to appointed counsel in removal proceedings and the normal rules of evidence do not apply. In addition, in recent years, between 80 and 90 percent of those removed have faced some form of expedited, streamlined, process-less removal; that is, they have either never seen the inside of an immigration court or their cases have received only cursory review by an immigration judge after they have ‘stipulated’ to their own removal.”[24]

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA) brought into one comprehensive statute the multiple laws that previously governed immigration and naturalization in the United States.[25] It regulates the conditions under which non-citizens may enter the United States by providing a list of grounds of deportability and a list of exclusive grounds of inadmissibility.[26] The INA is formally contained in Title 8 of the United States Code, which is a compilation of all federal laws passed by Congress.[27]

Since the mid-1990s, many changes to United States immigration law have been introduced that represent a trend toward restricting the rights of non-citizens. These changes include the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA).[28]

IIRIRA mandates the detention of a broad range “inadmissible” and removable non-citizens.[29] Under U.S. law, any person without immigration status may be taken into custody. Lawful permanent residents and undocumented persons with a broad array of criminal convictions or those who are believed to pose a threat to national security are subject to mandatory detention.[30] Non-mandatory detainees may be released if they do not “pose a danger to property or persons” and are likely to appear for immigration proceedings.”[31]

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld mandatory detention for non-citizens with pending removal cases for the time necessary to complete those proceedings, which was found to be a month and a half for the majority of cases, although when non-citizens appeal a decision their time in detention typically increases.[32]

On the other hand, the Supreme Court has prohibited the indefinite detention of non-citizens who have been ordered removed.[33] However, a joint 2015 study by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Center for Migration Studies reported that despite the Supreme Court ruling thousands of non-citizens on any given night have been detained for periods of more than six months, including after receiving a removal order.[34]

Criminalisation. The U.S. immigration enforcement system is intimately intertwined with the criminal justice system, as exemplified by the long-standing U.S. practice of using prisons to confine immigration detainees. This practice has been largely banned in most major developed nations, particularly in Europe where European Union directives provide that immigration detainees be kept in specially designed facilities separate from criminal-related prisons.[35] An official ICE study published in 2009 heavily criticized this U.S. practice. It concluded that “the facilities that ICE uses to detain aliens were built, and operate, as jails and prisons to confine pre-trial and sentenced felons. ICE relies primarily on correctional incarceration standards designed for pre-trial felons and on correctional principles of care, custody, and control. These standards impose more restrictions and carry more costs than are necessary to effectively manage the majority of the detained population.”[36]

An important form of immigration criminalisation in the United States is that many immigration-status-related violations are subject to prosecution. Although non-citizens who are in detention to complete immigration or asylum-related processes are considered in administrative (or “civil”) detention, tens of thousands of people are also incarcerated for immigration-related crimes every year. Since 1996, prosecutions for re-entering the country after being deported, particularly for those previously convicted of crimes, have increased. Prosecutions for illegal entry and re-entry have risen from 4,000 in 1993 to 31,000 in 2004 and 91,000 in 2013.[37] These prosecutions have also been a key reason for increases in overall federal prosecutions. According to the Pew Research Center, increases “in unlawful reentry convictions alone accounts for nearly half” of the growth of federal prosecutions during the period 1992-2012.[38] During FY 2015, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, the government charged nearly 75,000 people with immigration-related offenses.”[39]

Helping to boost the numbers of immigration-related prosecutions has been “Operation Streamline,” a joint DHS-DOJ program launched in 2005 that aims to deter unauthorized entry by criminally prosecuting persons entering the country without authorization, including “first-time illegal border crossers.”[40] The Center for Migration Studies and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reported in 2015 that these prosecutions “have taken the form of summary, en masse guilty pleas, largely devoid of due process protections.”[41] According to Human Rights Watch, “Under Operation Streamline, dozens of defendants at a time are charged, plead guilty, and ultimately convicted and sentenced of the federal misdemeanor of illegal entry, all within a matter of hours and sometimes even minutes. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) claims that the program reduces recidivism by deterring migrants from trying to enter the US illegally again.”[42]

The relationship between criminal and immigration enforcement was further consolidated during the Barack Obama presidency as authorities ramped up efforts to deport “criminal aliens.” A key driver of increased removals was the “Secure Communities” program, which operated during 2008-2014. Under this program, local law enforcement officials shared information with federal immigration authorities concerning non-citizens—including both lawful and unauthorized foreign residents—who were booked into jails. In addition, a hierarchy of prioritised non-citizens to be detained and deported was created.[43]

Secure Communities came under harsh criticism, especially as it targeted large numbers of people who had only committed minor offenses like traffic or immigration violations. Between 2011 and 2013, DHS removed more “criminal aliens” for immigration-related crimes than for any other category of crime.[44] An analysis of every person in immigrant detention on September 22, 2012 found that 61 percent had been convicted of a crime, but only 10 percent had been convicted of violent crimes.[45] Traffic and immigration offenses were among the most prevalent crimes by offense category. Arrests for minor crimes, combined with the threat of deportation pursuant to Secure Communities, created division and mistrust between police and heavily immigrant communities. In announcing the end of the program in late 2014, a DHS official acknowledged, “Its very name has become a symbol of hostility toward the enforcement of our immigration laws.”[46]

Children. The immigration detention of children and families has received unprecedented attention in the United States since mid-2014 when tens of thousands of children, mainly from the Northern Triangle states of Central American, arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border, spurring a media and political outcry. According to a study by the Organisation of American States (OAS), prompting these movements of people has been “a worsening human rights situation in the principle countries of origin” and “poverty, economic and gender inequality, multi-sectorial discrimination, and high levels of violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.”[47]

There are important differences in the treatment of unaccompanied and accompanied children arriving in the United States. “Unaccompanied alien child” is defined by law as a child who “(A) has no lawful immigration status in the United States; (B) has not attained 18 years of age; and (C) with respect to whom—(i) there is no parent or legal guardian in the United States; or (ii) no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody.”[48] Due to their particular vulnerability, these children receive certain protections under U.S. law. On the other hand, the law does not formally define the term “accompanied” child, but children who arrive in the United States with a parent or guardian are considered accompanied.[49]

Unlike families, unaccompanied children cannot be placed in expedited removal proceedings. Unaccompanied children from non-contiguous countries are placed in standard removal proceedings in immigration court, but CBP must transfer custody of them to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) of the Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours. Unaccompanied children from contiguous countries must be screened by a CBP officer to determine if they are unable to make independent decisions,[50] are a victim of trafficking, or fear persecution in their home country. If none of these conditions apply, CBP will immediately send the child back to their home country through the voluntary return process.[51]

Although unaccompanied children may be detained, special laws require that the best interests of the child govern custody determinations and placement. Once transferred from CBP, the Office of Refugee Resettlement manages the custody of unaccompanied children until they can be released to family members or other individuals or organisations. The law requires that these children be placed in the least restrictive setting in their best interests and they are generally held in a network of state-licensed, government-funded private care providers that are meant to offer education, healthcare, and case management services.[52]

The law allows for the detention of families and accompanied children. Although such detention is highly controversial, the practice has been expanded since 2014 in response to the large increases in families migrating to the United States and fleeing violence in Central America.[53]

Between October 2013 and September 2014, 68,541 unaccompanied children were apprehended at the southwestern border of the country,[54] prompting President Obama to describe the situation as a humanitarian crisis.[55] In 2014, 52,539 unaccompanied minors were detained in the country.[56] New detention centres have been constructed to be used as family detention centres in Texas and Pennsylvania, as discussed below in the section on “Detention Infrastructure.” These facilities are euphemistically called “family residential centres.”

With regard to unaccompanied Mexican children specifically, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) found that DHS had applied a presumption that the children were not in need of international protection. The IACHR reports, based on UNHCR estimates, that around 95.5 percent of Mexican children arriving alone in the country are returned without ever having the opportunity to see an immigration judge. The report also raised issues with the conditions of detention of migrant children.[57]

Recent court rulings and orders are relevant to the consideration of immigrant children in the United States.

In February 2015, the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ordered a preliminary injunction immediately halting the government’s policy of detaining mothers and children with legitimate asylum claims solely to deter others from migrating to the United States.[58] The judge in this case ordered immigration authorities to “consider each asylum case to determine if the migrants would present risks to public safety if they were released while their cases moved through the courts.”[59]

Later, in August 2015, the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued a ruling ordering DHS to begin releasing immigrant children and their accompanying parents from detention.[60] The ruling stated that children should not be held for more than 72 hours unless they were a significant flight risk or a danger to themselves or others.[61]

To avoid court-ordered restrictions in the detention of children, in early 2016 the federal government reportedly asked Texas officials to license facilities used to detain immigrant families in the state as “child welfare” institutions.[62]

Asylum seekers. U.S. law distinguishes between three different types of asylum-seekers: affirmative asylum-seekers who are not in removal proceedings; defensive asylum-seekers who seek asylum in removal proceedings before an immigration judge; and asylum-seekers who enter the United States without proper documents and are subject to expedited removal. Under certain conditions, asylum seekers may be detained. This includes situations in which asylum-seekers have been denied asylum and have overstayed the expiry of their visas. In addition, an asylum-seeker claiming asylum at a U.S. port-of-entry or after entering the U.S. without proper documents will be automatically detained pending an interview to determine if they have a “credible fear” of persecution. In this situation, those deemed not to have a credible fear will be detained subject to removal from the country. Persons found to have a credible fear can be but often are not released, as they pursue their asylum claims before an immigration judge.

As of June 2015, there were nearly 500,000 asylum-seekers and resettled refugees who were residing in the country.[63] According to UNHCR, during 2014, there were 63,913 new asylum applications made. This compares to 45,374 during 2013, 43,054 during 2012, and 38,525 during 2011.[64]

The GDP has been unable to locate information about the number of asylum-seekers held in detention in the United States. In its official response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request jointly lodged by the GDP and Access Info Europe in 2013, ICE officials failed to answer a question concerning statistics about asylum seekers in detention.[65]

Alternatives to detention. People who do not fall under mandatory detention provisions may be eligible for bail or conditional release. However, DHS can revoke its authorization of release as a matter of discretion at any time.[66]  

Funding for the development and expansion of alternatives to detention (ATD) programs has steadily increased over time, with Congress appropriating $43.6 million for such programs in 2007 and $91 million in 2014.[67] In addition, ICE’s plan for the years 2010-2014 identified a need to develop a cost effective ATD program that would enjoy high rates of appearances in removal proceedings.[68] However, advocates argue that the use of ATDs has not reduced reliance on detention and some ATD programs continue fail to comply with basic due process requirements.[69]

Both officials and advocates have maintained that ATD programs are more humane and less costly than detention.[70] In addition, ATDs have proven highly effective, resulting in an appearance rate of 99 per cent at court hearings between 2011 and 2013.[71] The high compliance could be related in part to the use of some highly restrictive forms of alternatives, like ankle bracelets, which international bodies like UNHCR have argued should not be considered alternatives. Critics argue that highly restrictive measures should be avoided because they stigmatize and humiliate immigrants, and, if used at all, should be considered alternative “forms” of detention and be made available to mandatory detainees.[72]

Some scholars in the United States have expressed caution regarding the promotion of “alternatives” in the United States for fear that these programs could lead to the use of more restrictive non-custodial measures. One author notes that when ICE employs formal alternatives—including community supervision, reporting requirements, and ankle bracelets—“the agency generally initiates enrolment in these programs for individuals who have already been released from detention. As a result, the programs do not serve as a means of allowing release from detention. Instead, when ICE requires participation in such a program, it increases the level of supervision imposed rather than minimizing the restrictions.”[73]

While advocates of alternatives are generally careful to exclude programs like ankle bracelets from their catalogues of acceptable measures (see, for example, UNHCR’s “Detention Guidelines” and the IDC's "There Are Alternatives"), the United States has justified ramping up its use of electronic monitoring devices and other surveillance technologies by employing the alternatives label. This has led to a windfall in profits for private prison companies, who are contracted to manage these programs. According to news reports, the GEO Group, which operates more than a dozen immigration detention centres in the United States, was paid $56 million annually “to manage ankle monitors for 10,000 immigrants, and to run telephone check-ins for 20,000 immigrants.”[74]

Deaths in detention and concerns over healthcare. A 2010 New York Times report on deaths in detention found evidence of a “culture of secrecy” and a failure to address fatal flaws at detention centres.[75] These issues reportedly continue to persist, with poor medical care in particular contributing to the death of immigrants in detention.[76]

As detention centres are subject to less stringent standards of custody, the medical treatment provided to detainees is often inadequate and staffs are generally overworked and under-qualified. The Nation magazine reported that because the financial penalties from the Bureau of Prisons for privately-run detention centres that fail to meet contractual obligations are so modest, it often costs less for the centres to pay the penalty than to meet the obligation and hire additional medical staff. The former clinical director of Big Spring Correctional Center told The Nation that his requests for detainees to be transferred to federal prison medical centres or local hospitals were often denied.[77] In addition, a joint report by the American Civil Liberties Union, Detention Watch Network, and National Immigrant Justice Center found that at least four detention facilities passed their Enforcement and Removal Operations inspections despite documented misgivings and failings related to medical treatments and protocol.[78]

Between October 2003 and January 2010, 107 immigrants died in detention.[79] During the Obama administration, there have been 56 deaths of immigrants in ICE custody.[80] Further, between 1998 and 2014, at least seven immigrants committed suicide in the immigrant-only contract prisons described above.[81] While the United States government is highly secretive and non-transparent about the details surrounding immigrant deaths in detention, a review of 77 released medical case files revealed that in at least 25 of the cases the medical inadequacies of the detention centres “likely contributed to the premature death of the prisoners.”[82]

Privatisation. Ramped up deportation efforts and the criminalisation of immigration breaches have led to strains in the country’s detention and incarceration capacities since the 1990s, prompting immigration authorities and the Bureau of Prisons to increase reliance on privately run facilities, which is justified as a cost-cutting measure.[83]

The U.S. immigration detention infrastructure has been extensively privatised,[84] with 62 percent of all ICE immigration detention beds in the country as of 2015 operated by for-profit prison corporations, up from 49 percent in 2009.[85] These privately managed detention facilities held 23,000 individuals as of June 2015.[86] Further, as of 2015, for-profit prison corporations administered nine of the country’s 10 largest immigrant detention centres.[87] In this way, the U.S. detention infrastructure is strikingly similar to that of Australia and the United Kingdom, two other English-language countries whose large-scale immigration detention centre operations are completely or nearly completely privatized.

Numerous concerns relating to the private management or ownership of immigration detention facilities have been raised in various venues. In July 2015, for instance, dozens of members of Congress signed an open letter to ICE protesting against the expansion of Adelanto detention facility, which is owned by for-profit company Geo Group, in light of allegations of medical negligence.[88] It was reported that in November 2015, hundreds of detainees at the Adelanto facility began a hunger strike to protest detention conditions at the centre.[89]

These reports follow on years of criticisms of Geo Group and other major operators, like the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which ran the country’s first immigration detention centre, opened in the early 1980s in response to perceived needs to quickly ramp up detention capacity because of growing numbers of asylum seekers and migrants from the Caribbean.[90]

CCA has been repeatedly criticized for issues such as inadequate staffing, poor conditions, high turnover of employees, and falsifying business records.[91] In 2006, federal investigators reported that conditions at one CCA centre were so inadequate that “detainee welfare is in jeopardy.”[92]

For its part, the Geo Group, which operates 64 immigration detention facilities and prisons with 74,861 beds in the United States,[93] has been criticized for increasing its profits by lowering worker wages, reducing inmate access to healthcare, and ignoring safety and sanitation in its detention centres.[94]

Private prison companies are far from being the only benefactors in the outsourcing of services to immigration detainees. Some scholars have attempted to uncover the “micro-economies” of detention facilities, detailing the large variety of services provided by private companies and the potential impact these could have on policy-making.[95]

In 2012, the Global Detention Project surveyed the websites of hundreds of prisons and dedicated facilities used to hold immigration detainees to find details about which services are outsourced at these facilities. Based solely on this review of online information, the GDP was able to determine that of the hundreds of facilities that have been used in recent years to hold immigration detainees, no less than 83 explicitly mention on their websites some form of outsourcing.[96] In addition, of the two dozen dedicated immigration facilities, all but one report outsourcing services to private contractors. Private companies offer a range of services at detention sites, including food services, security, healthcare, among a host of other services.[97]  

Detention at the border. The agency responsible for controlling the U.S. border and ports of entry is Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. The CBP apprehends hundreds of thousands of people annually at the southern border, most of whom are only briefly held before being deported through “expedited removal” or other summary procedures.

While there are no statutes or regulations specifically governing these CBP short-term facilities, CBP has issued internal guidance on standards for them.[98] Holding cells are not required to contain beds, but detainees should be provided with meals and drinking water, access to bathrooms, and necessary medical treatment.[99] A 2008 CBP memorandum provides that detainees “should not be held for more than 12 hours.”[100] However, CBP guidance appears to contradict this memorandum by providing that agents will make reasonable efforts to provide a shower to detainees held for longer than 72 hours.[101]

Despite CBP guidance, there have been numerous reports of extremely poor conditions at short-term detention facilities along the border. Former detainees describe freezing temperatures, being forced to sit and sleep on concrete surfaces for multiple days, receiving little or no access to food or water, being denied adequate medical care, and being denied communication with legal counsel or consulates.[102] In 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a class action lawsit in Arizona "to improve the horrific conditions in detention facilities" operated by the U.S. Border Patrol, which are commonly referred using the Spanish word "hierlas"--"iceboxes"--because of the extremely cold temperatures. 

Offshore detention, anti-smuggling, and “alien interdiction.” Since the summer of 2014, when tens of thousands of children began arriving on the U.S. southern border fleeing Central American countries, there have been numerous reports about pressure and assistance from the United States to detain migrants abroad, particularly in Mexico.[103] In January 2016, the Mexican human rights group Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matias, which assists migrants and asylum seekers crossing Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, denounced the presence of U.S. immigration officers working inside detention facilities in Mexico.[104] In February 2016, a coalition of Mexican and U.S. NGOs field a lawsuit in the United States seeking details about U.S. financial aid to Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Migración.[105]

U.S. efforts at extraterritorial immigration control date back many decades and have been influential in the development of similar practices in other countries, including most notably Australia, whose controversial “Pacific Solution” appears to have been inspired in part by U.S. Caribbean interdiction practices.[106] In the early 1980s, President Ronald Reagan, responding to significant increases in Cubans and Haitians fleeing their countries, issued a “presidential proclamation” in which he “suspended” the “entry of undocumented aliens from the high seas” because it had become “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” He subsequently ordered the Coast Guard to board foreign vessels in international waters to determine whether passengers had documentation to enter the country.[107]

In the early 1990s, renewed migration and refugee flows from Haiti and Cuba spurred the United States to seek assistance from other countries to accommodate intercepted Haitians, including Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Belize, Venezuela, Honduras, and Suriname.[108] By early 1990s, the United States had access to a network of offshore “processing” facilities that extended from the Bahamas to Panama.[109] This period also saw the opening of the migrant facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.[110]

A number of high-profile cases of “alien smuggling” in the early 1990s also led to offshore control strategies. In June 1993, President Bill Clinton issued Presidential Decision Directive-9 (PDD-9), which directed several government agencies to “take the necessary measures to preempt, interdict, and deter alien smuggling in the U.S. … to interdict and hold smuggled aliens as far as possible from the U.S. border and to repatriate them when appropriate.”[111]

Various elements of this directive later became part of an INS-led initiative called “Operation Global Reach.” Global Reach, launched in 1997, entailed an unprecedented expansion of U.S. anti­-smuggling and migrant interception activities. According to a 2001 Justice Department fact sheet, Global Reach was a “strategy of combating illegal immigration through emphasis on overseas deterrence.” The INS established “40 overseas offices with 150 U.S. positions to provide a permanent presence of immigration officers overseas,” “trained more than 45,000 host-country officials and airline personnel in fraudulent document detection,” and completed “special operations to test various illegal migrant deterrence methods in source and transit countries.”[112]

A key geographical focus of Global Reach was Latin America. In 1996, the INS District Office in Mexico City began a series of intelligence and anti-smuggling operations called “Operation Disrupt,” which targeted migration and smuggling activities in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, and Canada.[113] In 1997, after Disrupt activities became a part of the overall Global Reach initiative, the INS significantly broadened the scope of its offshore prevention strategies, undertaking annual multilateral interception operations with law enforcement personnel from dozens of Latin American countries. According to activists in these countries, during the operations, INS (and now DHS) agents accompanied local authorities to restaurants, hotels, border crossings, checkpoints, and airports to help identify and apprehend suspicious travelers.

In a series of yearly press statements in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the agency announced the results of each operation. In 2000, for example, the INS declared that year’s Disrupt operation, “Forerunner,” to be the “largest anti-smuggling operation ever conducted in the Western Hemisphere.” Involving agents from six Latin America countries, the operation nabbed 3,500 migrants and 38 smugglers.[114]

Forerunner was followed in 2001 by “Crossroads International,” which the INS again described as the “largest multinational anti-smuggling operation ever conducted in the Western Hemisphere,” this one resulting in the arrest of 75 smugglers and the interdiction of some 8,000 migrants from 39 countries. “The wide-ranging anti-smuggling operation was directed by the INS Mexico City District Office and involved . . . law enforcement officers in Columbia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, and Peru,” said a press statement.[115]

Officials in countries participating in the U.S.-led anti-smuggling operations often received U.S. budgetary assistance to help detain and deport migrants. In 2000, the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB), which had sent a delegation to Central America to study regional migration issues, issued a scathing press release decrying U.S. interdiction activities in the region as well as efforts by the United States to pay countries in the region to detain and deport unwanted third-country nationals.[116]

In another case, this one from 2001, a group of migrants from India who had paid thousands of dollars to be smuggled to the United States, were arrested in Mexico along with dozens of his compatriots as they approached the U.S. border.[117] Under pressure from the United States, Mexico deported the migrants to Guatemala, where they were placed in a squalid detention centre that received funding through the U.S. Embassy.[118] An investigative report published at the time established that there were two detention facilities in Guatemala City that had received funding through the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City in direct response to a request from Guatemalan authorities, who complained that anti-smuggling operations were overwhelming their capacities.[119]

One of the most important elements in U.S. extraterritorial efforts has been the Coast Guard, whose “national security” mandate was expanded beyond the Caribbean in the early 1990s.[120] Much of the Coast Guard’s efforts since then have focused on the Pacific coast of the Americas, which in the mid-2000s experienced increases in the number of Chinese and Ecuadorean smuggling vessels. Interdicted migrants have been sent to detention facilities in Guatemala City as well as one in the southern Mexican border town of Tapachula,[121] the same facility at which U.S. immigration officers are alleged to be present according to the 2016 release issued by the Mexican human rights group Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matias.[122]

Coast Guard interdiction efforts peaked in the mid-2000s, with interdiction numbers reaching some 10,000 per year during 2004-2005. The numbers tailed off during the final years of the Bush presidency, a trend that continued after the election of President Barack Obama. In 2011, the Coast Guard reported interdicting 2,474 migrants, followed by 2,955 in 2012, and 2,094 in 2013.[123]

The Obama administration has pursued other extraterritorial strategies, including promoting detention practices in other neighbouring countries in addition to Mexico. In September 2010, for example, the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas reported that United States Northern Command co-sponsored with the embassy a tour of the Krome immigration detention centre in Florida by members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commando Squadron in order “to discuss best practices in immigration facility detention management.”[124]

 

DETENTION INFRASTRUCTURE

As the pressures to detain and remove increasingly larger numbers of non-citizens have mounted since the 1980s, U.S. immigration officials have repeatedly expanded the country’s overall detention capacity as well as the range of facilities used to keep people in detention. They have employed bed space in federal prisons, local jails, privately-run detention centres, juvenile detention centres, and family “residential” facilities, among other facilities. ICE and CBP also frequently use a large number of shorter-term holding facilities, including field offices and border facilities, to confine people for periods of time that exceed operating guidelines. 

By the end of FY 2007, there were 961 sites either directly owned by or under contract with the federal government to confine or accommodate people for immigration-related reasons, according to ICE, even though the vast majority of these facilities do not appear to have been used during that fiscal year (see November 2007 “Facility List”).[125] According to a separate list of sites provided by ICE as part of a 2013 freedom of information request, during the three-year period 2010-2012, nearly 460 facilities were used to detain people for periods of more than two days.[126]  

In the late 2000s, the Obama administration initiated reforms of ICE detention operations, which included recommendations provided in a ground breaking study published by ICE in 2009 titled “Immigration Detention: Overview and Recommendations.” The report concluded, “With only a few exceptions, the facilities that ICE uses to detain aliens were built, and operate, as jails and prisons to confine pre-trial and sentenced felons”[127] By 2015, the range of facilities had been dramatically reduced, with less than 200 facilities apparently in use at any given time and the use of some types phased out. Nevertheless, recent reports indicate that most immigration detainees continue to be held in jails or in prison-like facilities.[128]

As of 13 April 2016, ICE’s “Detention Facility Locator” website identified only 78 detention sites.[129] However, according to one expert who reviewed this profile before publication, this figure seems exceedingly low and not truly indicative of the number of facilities in use in the country at any given moment.[130] The reviewer pointed to a study showing that on one day in September 2012, ICE had immigration detainees in no less than 189 facilities.[131] Additionally, a May 2016 TRAC report tallied a total of 637 facilities used during FY2015.

Previously, DHS annual spending bills mandated that ICE “maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds” at any given time.[132] This quota was decreased to 30,539 for FY 2015.[133] In March 2016, a group of 56 members of the House of Representatives submitted a letter to the Subcommittee on Homeland Security calling for an end to the detention bed quota, stating that “[r]emoving the mandate language from the appropriations bill would bring ICE in line with the best practices of law enforcement agencies.”[134]

“Family reception.” Since the arrival of tens of thousands of children from Central America beginning in mid-2014, the country has also expanded its use of family detention, which is euphemistically termed “family reception.” Currently, there are three family detention centres in the United States. The Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes, Texas, is operated by the GEO Group and has 532 beds.[135] The South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley Texas is operated by CCA and contains 2,400 beds, and the Berks County Family Residential Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania is operated by ICE and has 96 beds.[136] The Berks County centre had its license revoked by the state of Pennsylvania on 21 February 2016, but the centre continued to operate after losing its license.[137]

ICE and CBP short-term detention facilities. ICE and CBP have employed short-term detention facilities at field offices and Border Patrol facilities.[138] There are numerous reports of people being held at these facilities for extended periods even though they are not equipped with basic amenities and operating guidelines indicate that they are intended to hold people for only very short periods.[139] Despite this fact, short-term facilities are generally not included on official lists or statistics, like ICE’s “Detention Facility Locator” website.

In the case of the CBP short-term facilities, internal memos and guidance on standards stipulate that holding cells are not required to contain beds and that detainees “should not be held for more than 12 hours.”[140] Nevertheless, many people who have been detained at these facilities have denounced being forced to sit and sleep on concrete surfaces for multiple days, receiving little or no access to food or water, being denied adequate medical care, and being denied communication with legal counsel or consulates.[141] In 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a class action lawsit in Arizona "to improve the horrific conditions in detention facilities" operated by the U.S. Border Patrol in the Tucson, which are commonly referred to using the Spanish word "hierlas"--"iceboxes"--because of the extremely cold temperatures. 

Despite these complaints, CBP does not facilitate access to information about its border detention facilities. In response to a joint 2013 GDP-Access Info Europe FOIA request asking for basic information about the facilities CBP had used in recent years to hold people for periods of 48 hours or more, a CBP FOIA officer responded, “We conducted a comprehensive search of files within the CBP databases for records that would be responsive to your request. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate or identify any responsive records, based upon the information you provided in your request.”[142] However, the L.A. Times, in 2015 coverage of the lawsuit brought against the Border Patrol in Arizona, reported: "During the first six months of 2013, 58,083 of 72,198 individuals held in the Tucson sector were in Border Patrol detention for 24 hours or longer. ... More than 24,000 people were held in Border Patrol holding cells for 48 hours or more."

Similarly, ICE has “hold rooms” in field offices that can be used for short-term detention, as people await removal, hearings, medical treatment, or transfer to another facility. ICE’s “2011 Operations Manual ICE Performance-Based National Detention Standards,” adopted as part of the Obama administration’s detention reforms, stipulate that “an individual may not be confined in a facility’s hold room for more than 12 hours.” However, according to information ICE provided as part of a 2013 freedom of information request, among the nearly 460 facilities used during the FY2010-2012 period to detain people for more than two days were some 60 sites that were coded as “hold” rooms.[143]  

Detention centre conditions and non-mandatory guidelines. Numerous reports from journalists, NGOs, international watchdogs, and official oversight bodies have raised concerns about the conditions of detention in the United States.

ICE’s 2009 report “Immigration Detention: Overview and Recommendations” found that in addition to the fact that most migrant detainees are kept in inappropriately carceral environments they also often suffer physical and sexual abuse, lack of access to adequate medical care, and inadequate nutrition and exercise.[144]

Also in 2009, Amnesty International documented several serious issues in relation to immigration detention conditions in the United States and found that the conditions of detention did not meet either international human rights standards of ICE guidelines. These included the comingling of immigration detainees with individuals convicted of criminal offenses and the inappropriate and excessive use of restraints.[145]

In 2010, an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) report expressed concern due to a variety of issues, including a lack of amenities, inadequacies in healthcare, complaints about the quality and quantity of food and water, lack of telephone access, the frequent transfer of migrants to remote locations, lack of oversight and inspection of conditions, and the fact that a large amount of detention centres rank as “deficient” based on ICE’s standards.[146]

A 2015 report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded that immigrant detainees were subject to “torture-like conditions” and in some instances faced threats and violence from guards.[147]

The Center for Migration Studies and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in their joint 2015 report, described severely poor conditions in detention centres, including reports that women detainees often face sexual abuse, that government officials have pressured detainees to abandon legal claims, and that visitors have been confronted with arbitrary and cruel visitation policies. In addition, they found that many detention centres provide limited access to outside groups, with some reportedly barring groups that have expressed concerns about conditions or abuse.[148]

Some observers have argued that part of the challenge in improving conditions in the U.S. immigration detention infrastructure is that detention guidelines are not mandatory. The guidelines were introduced in 2000 by immigration authorities and provide detailed non-binding standards for facilities holding immigration detainees, including issues such as access to attorneys and conditions of detention. In 2008, ICE announced the publication of 41 new performance-based detention standards, which were to be fully implemented by January 2010. These performance-based standards were also not legally binding.[149] Thus, organisations running detention facilities cannot be sued merely for failure to strictly adhere to the standards.[150]

The lack of non-mandatory guidelines also has the potential to impact specific groups of detainees, such as transgender women. For example, guidelines released in June 2015 meant to provide increased protection to transgender immigrants provided that transgender detainees “shall be treated as a protective custody detainee for the duration of the intake process” and that decisions about how to hold the detainee should consider where the person would feel safest.[151] However, Human Rights Watch has argued that these guidelines are not routinely followed, leaving transgender women open to sexual assault, harassment by male detainees and guards, extended placement in solitary confinement, and inadequate access to necessary medical treatments.[152]

 


[1] This issue was the subject of a 2016 lawsuit seeking details of U.S. financial aid to immigration authorities in Mexico. See Nina Lakhani, “Human rights groups sue U.S. over immigration payments to Mexico,” The Guardian, 12 February 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/12/human-rights-group-sue-immigration-mexico.

[2] Center for Migration Studies New York, Immigration Detention: Behind the Numbers, 13 February 2014, http://cmsny.org/immigration-detention-behind-the-record-numbers/. These numbers do not include people who are detained at ports of entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection or who are arrested and imprisoned as part of criminal procedures stemming from their immigration stations.

[3] Migration and Refugee Services/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops & The Center for Migration Studies, Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System, 2015.

[4] Pew Research Centre, U.S. deportations of immigrants reach record high in 2013, 2 October 2014, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/10/02/u-s-deportations-of-immigrants-reach-record-high-in-2013/.

[5] “Removals” are defined as “compulsory” while “returns” refer to “inadmissible” persons who are required to leave the country but whose departure is not based on a removal order. For a look at the history of U.S. removals and returns since 1892, see Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration and Statistics, “Yearbook of Immigration Statistics 2013,” https://www.dhs.gov/yearbook-immigration-statistics.

[6] Doris Meissner, Donald M. Kerwin, Muzaffar Chishti, & Claire Bergeron, Immigration Enforcement in the United States: The Rise of a Formidable Machinery, Migration Policy Institute, January 2013, http://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/immigration-enforcement-united-states-rise-formidable-machinery.

[7] National Immigration Forum, The Math of Immigration Detention, 22 August 2013, http://immigrationforum.org/blog/themathofimmigrationdetention/; see also, Robert Morgenthau, The US Keeps 34,000 Immigrants in Detention Each Day Simply to Meet a Quota, The Nation, 13 August 2014, http://www.thenation.com/article/us-keeps-34000-immigrants-detention-each-day-simply-meet-quota/.

[8] MSNBC, Immigrant deportations decline dramatically, 22 December 2015, http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/immigrant-deportations-decline.

[9] U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Report: Fiscal Year 2015, 22 December 2015, https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Report/2016/fy2015removalStats.pdf.

[10] U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Report: Fiscal Year 2015, 22 December 2015, https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Report/2016/fy2015removalStats.pdf.

[11] MSNBC, Immigrant deportations decline dramatically, 22 December 2015, http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/immigrant-deportations-decline.

[12] Department of Homeland Security, Fact Sheet: DHS FY 2017 Budget, 9 February 2016, https://www.dhs.gov/news/2016/02/09/fact-sheet-dhs-fy-2017-budget

[13] National Immigration Forum, The Math of Immigration Detention, 22 August 2013, http://immigrationforum.org/blog/themathofimmigrationdetention/.

[14] Stephanie J. Silverman, Immigration Detention in America: A History of its Expansion and a Study of its Significant, Working Paper No. 80, University of Oxford, 2010.

[15] Marian Smith, INS—U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service History, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, http://www.uscitizenship.info/ins-usimmigration-insoverview.html.

[16] Marian Smith, INS—U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service History, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, http://www.uscitizenship.info/ins-usimmigration-insoverview.html.

[17] Niels Frenzen, U.S. Migrant Interdiction Practices in International and Territorial Waters, in Extraterritorial Immigration Control: Legal Challenges, Bernard Ryan and Valsamis Mitsilegas. Martinus, editors, Nijhoff Publishers, 2010, p. 384.

[18] Michael Welch, Detained: Immigration Laws and the Expanding INS Complex, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2002, P. 107.

[19] Niels Frenzen, (USC Gould School of Law), Email correspondence with Michael Flynn (Global Detention Project), 26 March 2014.

[20] Migration Policy Institute, Immigration Enforcement Spending Since IRCA, 2005.

[21] Doris Meissner, Donald M. Kerwin, Muzaffar Chishti, & Claire Bergeron, Immigration Enforcement in the United States: The Rise of a Formidable Machinery, Migration Policy Institute, January 2013, http://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/immigration-enforcement-united-states-rise-formidable-machinery.

[22] Mathews v. Diaz, 426 U.S. 67 (1978).

[23] Global Detention Project, Immigration Detention and the Law: U.S. Policy and Legal Framework, August 2010, http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/content/immigration-detention-and-law-us-policy-and-legal-framework-0.

[24] Donald Kerwin (Center for Migration Studies), email to Michael Flynn (Global Detention Project), 20 April 2016.

[25] Global Detention Project, Immigration Detention and the Law: U.S. Policy and Legal Framework, August 2010, http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/content/immigration-detention-and-law-us-policy-and-legal-framework-0.

[26] Stephanie J. Silverman, Immigration Detention in America: A History of its Expansion and a Study of its Significant, Working Paper No. 80, University of Oxford, 2010.

[27] Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, Pub. L. No. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163.

[28] Global Detention Project, Immigration Detention and the Law: U.S. Policy and Legal Framework, August 2010, http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/content/immigration-detention-and-law-us-policy-and-legal-framework-0.

[29] U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops & The Center for Migration Studies, Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System, 2015.

[30] 8 U.S.C. 1226 (a), (c), 1225(b).

[31] U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops & The Center for Migration Studies, Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System, 2015.

[32] Demore v. Kim, 538 U.S. 510 (2003).

[33] Zadvydas v. INS, 533 U.S. 678 (2001).

[34] U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops & The Center for Migration Studies, Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System, 2015.

[35] For details about differences in detention practices between Europe and the United States, see the joint GDP-Access Info Europe report “The Uncounted,” December 2015, http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/publications/special-report/uncounted-detention-migrants-and-asylum-seekers-europe.

[36] Dora Schriro, Immigration Detention: Overview and Recommendations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, October 2009, https://www.ice.gov/doclib/about/offices/odpp/pdf/ice-detention-rpt.pdf.

[37] Seth Freed Wessler, ‘This Man Will Almost Certainly Die’, The Nation, 28 January 2016, http://www.thenation.com/article/privatized-immigrant-prison-deaths/.

[38] Pew Research Center, The Rise of Federal Immigration Crimes, 18 March 2014, http://www.pewhispanic.org/2014/03/18/the-rise-of-federal-immigration-crimes/

[39] Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Immigration Prosecutions for September 2015 (Fiscal Year 2015), https://trac.syr.edu/cgi-secure/product/login.pl?_SERVICE=express9&_DEBUG=0&_PROGRAM=interp.annualreport.sas&p_month=dec&p_year=15&p_topic=40&p_agenrevgrp=&p_distcode=&p_trac_leadcharge=&p_progcat=&p_stat=fil.

[40] Human Rights Watch, US: Reject Mass Migrant Prosecutions, 28 July 2015, https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/07/28/us-reject-mass-migrant-prosecutions.

[41] U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops & The Center for Migration Studies, Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System, 2015.

[42] Human Rights Watch, US: Reject Mass Migrant Prosecutions, 28 July 2015, https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/07/28/us-reject-mass-migrant-prosecutions.

[43] Stephanie J. Silverman, Immigration Detention in America: A History of its Expansion and a Study of its Significance, Working Paper No. 80, University of Oxford, 2010.

[44] U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops & The Center for Migration Studies, Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System, 2015.

[45] Donald Kerwin, Piecing Together the US Immigrant Detention Puzzle One Night at a Time: An Analysis of All Persons in DHS-ICE Custody on September 22, 2012, 3 Journal on Migration and Human Security 4 (2015): 330-376.

[46] Jeb Charles Johnson (Secretary, Department of Homeland Security), Memorandum about Secure Communities, 20 November 2014, https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_secure_communities.pdf.

[47] Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Refugees and Migrants in the United States: Families and Unaccompanied Children, 24 July 2015, OAS/Ser.L/V/II. 155, https://www.oas.org/en/iachr/reports/pdfs/Refugees-Migrants-US.pdf.

[48] Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2202

[49] American Immigration Council, A Guide to Children Arriving at the Border: Laws, Policies, and Responses, 26 June 2015, http://immigrationpolicy.org/special-reports/guide-children-arriving-border-laws-policies-and-responses.

[50] Whether unaccompanied children can represent themselves in court became the subject of much notoriety in early 2016 when a federal judge argued that toddlers could learn immigration law and thus did not necessarily need legal representation during court proceedings. “I’ve taught immigration law literally to 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds,” said Jack H. Weil, a DOJ official and immigration judge. “It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of patience. They get it. It’s not the most efficient, but it can be done.” Washington Post, 5 March 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/can-a-3-year-old-represent-herself-in-immigration-court-this-judge-thinks-so/2016/03/03/5be59a32-db25-11e5-925f-1d10062cc82d_story.html.

[51] American Immigration Council, A Guide to Children Arriving at the Border: Laws, Policies, and Responses, 26 June 2015, http://immigrationpolicy.org/special-reports/guide-children-arriving-border-laws-policies-and-responses.

[52] American Immigration Council, A Guide to Children Arriving at the Border: Laws, Policies, and Responses, 26 June 2015, http://immigrationpolicy.org/special-reports/guide-children-arriving-border-laws-policies-and-responses.

[53] American Immigration Council, A Guide to Children Arriving at the Border: Laws, Policies, and Responses, 26 June 2015, http://immigrationpolicy.org/special-reports/guide-children-arriving-border-laws-policies-and-responses.

[54] U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Southwest Border Unaccompanied Alien Children Statistics FY 2016, http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/southwest-border-unaccompanied-children.

[55] The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Letter from the President – Efforts to Address the Humanitarian Situation in the Rio Grande Valley Areas of Our Nation’s Southwest Border, 30 June 2014, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/30/letter-president-efforts-address-humanitarian-situation-rio-grande-valle.

[56] International Organization for Migration, Dinamicas Migratorias en American Latina y el Carbibe, y entre ALC u la Union Europea, May 2015.

[57] Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Refugees and Migrants in the United States: Families and Unaccompanied Children, 24 July 2015, OAS/Ser.L/V/II. 155, https://www.oas.org/en/iachr/reports/pdfs/Refugees-Migrants-US.pdf.

[58] American Civil Liberties Union, RILR v. Johnson, 31 July 2015, https://www.aclu.org/cases/rilr-v-johnson.

[59] Julia Preston, Judge Orders Stop to Detention of Families at Borders, New York Times, 20 February 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/21/us/judge-orders-stop-to-detention-of-families-at-borders.html?_r=0.

[60] Muzaffar Chishti & Faye Hipsman, Fierce Opposition, Court Rulings Place Future Family Immigration Detention in Doubt, Migration Policy Institute, 15 September 2015, http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/fierce-opposition-court-rulings-place-future-family-immigration-detention-doubt. 

[61] Cindy Carcamo, Judge Orders Prompt Release of Immigrant Children from Detention, Los Angeles Times, 22 August 2015, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-family-detention-children-20150821-story.html.

[62] Texas Observer, “Health Agency to Press Forward with Licensing Child Detention Centers,” 12 February 2016, https://www.texasobserver.org/detention-center-child-care-to-hhsc/.

[63] U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, United States of America profile, http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e492086.html.

[64] U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Statistical Yearbook 2014, Statistical Annexes; U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Statistical Yearbook 2013, Statistical Annexes; U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Statistical Yearbook 2012, Statistical Annexes; U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Statistical Yearbook 2011, Statistical Annexes.

[65] Global Detention Project and Access Info Europe, “The Uncounted,” December 2015, pp. 30-31, http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/publications/special-report/uncounted-detention-migrants-and-asylum-seekers-europe.

[66] 8 U.S.C. 1226(b).

[67] Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Unlocking Liberty: A Way Forward for U.S. Immigration Detention Policy, http://lirs.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/RPTUNLOCKINGLIBERTY.pdf; U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops & The Center for Migration Studies, Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System, 2015.

[68] U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE Strategic Plan FY 2010-2014, https://www.ice.gov/doclib/detention-reform/pdf/strategic_plan_2010.pdf.

[69] U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE Strategic Plan FY 2010-2014, https://www.ice.gov/doclib/detention-reform/pdf/strategic_plan_2010.pdf.

[70] American Civil Liberties Union, Alternatives to Immigration Detention: Less Costly and More Humane than Federal Lock-up, https://www.aclu.org/aclu-fact-sheet-alternatives-immigration-detention-atd.

[71] U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops & The Center for Migration Studies, Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System, 2015.

[72] U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops & The Center for Migration Studies, Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System, 2015.

[73] Denise Gilman, Realizing Liberty: The Use of International Human Rights Law to Realign Immigration Detention in the United States, 26 Fordham Int’l L.J. 2 (2013).

[74] National Public Radio, As Asylum Seekers Swap Prison Beds For Ankle Bracelets, Same Firm Profits, 3 December 2015, http://www.npr.org/2015/11/13/455790454/as-asylum-seekers-swap-prison-beds-for-ankle-bracelets-same-firm-profits.

[75] Nina Bernstein, Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail, New York Times, 9 January 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/us/10detain.html?_r=0.

[76] American Civil Liberties Union, Detention Watch Network, & National Immigrant Justice Center, Fatal Neglect: How ICE Ignores Deaths in Detention, February 2016.

[77] Seth Freed Wessler, ‘This Man Will Almost Certainly Die’, The Nation, 28 January 2016, http://www.thenation.com/article/privatized-immigrant-prison-deaths/.

[78] American Civil Liberties Union, Detention Watch Network, & National Immigrant Justice Center, Fatal Neglect: How ICE Ignores Deaths in Detention, February 2016.

[79] Nina Bernstein, Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail, New York Times, 9 January 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/us/10detain.html?_r=0.

[80] American Civil Liberties Union, Detention Watch Network, & National Immigrant Justice Center, Fatal Neglect: How ICE Ignores Deaths in Detention, February 2016.

[81] Seth Freed Wessler, ‘This Man Will Almost Certainly Die’, The Nation, 28 January 2016, http://www.thenation.com/article/privatized-immigrant-prison-deaths/.

[82] Nina Bernstein, Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail, New York Times, 9 January 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/us/10detain.html?_r=0; Seth Freed Wessler, ‘This Man Will Almost Certainly Die’, The Nation, 28 January 2016, http://www.thenation.com/article/privatized-immigrant-prison-deaths/.

[83] Seth Freed Wessler, ‘This Man Will Almost Certainly Die’, The Nation, 28 January 2016, http://www.thenation.com/article/privatized-immigrant-prison-deaths/.

[84] An exhaustive analysis of the U.S. detention system on a single night, 22 September 2012, concluded that 67 percent of detainees were held in facilities that were owned or operated by private prison corporations, and 90 percent of the beds in the 21 largest detention facilities were administered by private prison operators. Donald Kerwin, “Piecing Together the U.S. Immigrant Detention Puzzle One Night at a Time: An Analysis of All Persons in DHS-ICE Custody on September 22, 2012,” Journal on Migration and Human Security 4 (2015): 330-376.

[85] Bethany Carson & Eleana Diaz, Grassroots Leadership, Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota, April 2015, http://grassrootsleadership.org/reports/payoff-how-congress-ensures-private-prison-profit-immigrant-detention-quota.

[86] Seth Freed Wessler, ‘This Man Will Almost Certainly Die’, The Nation, 28 January 2016, http://www.thenation.com/article/privatized-immigrant-prison-deaths/.

[87] U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops & The Center for Migration Studies, Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System, 2015.

[88] Congressional Letter to ICE about Adelanto Conditions, 14 July 2015, https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2165708-adelanto-letter.html.

[89] Kate Linthicum, Hundreds Launch Hunger Strike at Immigrant Detention Center in Adelanto, Calif., Los Angeles Times, 6 November 2015, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-immigrant-hunger-strike-20151106-story.html.

[90] T. Don Hutto cofounded with Tom Beasley and Robert Crants the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) in 1983. In 1984, CCA opened the country’s first privately run detention centre using a former hotel called the Olympic Motel. This temporary facility, which according to CCA was opened at the behest of INS, was replaced soon thereafter by the Houston Processing Center, “CCA's first design, build and manage contract from the U.S. Department of Justice for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service) in Texas” (CCA website, “A Quarter Century of Service to America”).

[91] Wil S. Hylton, The Shame of America’s Family Detention Camps, New York Times, 4 February 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/magazine/the-shame-of-americas-family-detention-camps.html; Scott Cohn, Private Prison Industry Grows Despite Critics, NBC News, 18 October 2011, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44936562/ns/business-cnbc_tv/t/private-prison-industry-grows-despite-critics/#.VwoZU2Mp1UQ.

[92] Wil S. Hylton, The Shame of America’s Family Detention Camps, New York Times, 4 February 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/magazine/the-shame-of-americas-family-detention-camps.html.

[93] The GEO Group, Inc., Locations, 2014, http://www.geogroup.com/locations.

[94] Jeff Ostrowski, Dogged by Complaints, Prison Operate GEO Group Keeps Growing, Palm Beach Post, 25 August 2012, http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/dogged-by-complaints-prison-operator-geo-group-kee/nRHZ8/.

[95] D. Conlon & N. Hiemstra, Examining the Everyday Micro-Economies of Migrant Detention in the United States, Geographica Helvetica 69(5), 2014.

[96] Global Detention Project, A Survey of Private Contractor Involvement in U.S. Facilities Used to Confine People for Immigration-related Reasons, Global Detention Project Special Report, 9 July 2012, http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/publications/survey-private-contractor-involvement-us-facilities-used-confine-people-immigration.

[97] Global Detention Project, A Survey of Private Contractor Involvement in U.S. Facilities Used to Confine People for Immigration-related Reasons, Global Detention Project Special Report, 9 July 2012, http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/publications/survey-private-contractor-involvement-us-facilities-used-confine-people-immigration.

[98] American Immigration Council, Way Too Long: Prolonged Detention in Border Patrol Holding Cells, Government Records Show, 10 June 2015, http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/way-too-long-prolonged-detention-border-patrol-holding-cells-government-records-show.

[99] American Immigration Council, Way Too Long: Prolonged Detention in Border Patrol Holding Cells, Government Records Show, 10 June 2015, http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/way-too-long-prolonged-detention-border-patrol-holding-cells-government-records-show.

[100] American Immigration Council, Way Too Long: Prolonged Detention in Border Patrol Holding Cells, Government Records Show, 10 June 2015, http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/way-too-long-prolonged-detention-border-patrol-holding-cells-government-records-show.

[101] American Immigration Council, Way Too Long: Prolonged Detention in Border Patrol Holding Cells, Government Records Show, 10 June 2015, http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/way-too-long-prolonged-detention-border-patrol-holding-cells-government-records-show. 

[102] American Immigration Council, Way Too Long: Prolonged Detention in Border Patrol Holding Cells, Government Records Show, 10 June 2015, http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/way-too-long-prolonged-detention-border-patrol-holding-cells-government-records-show.

[103] There have been concerns about possible recent U.S. involvement in other countries, including Costa Rica. See, for instance, Zach Dyer, “Deporting 600 migrants back to Africa could be expensive, and impossible,” Tico Times, 25 April 2016, http://www.ticotimes.net/2016/04/25/costa-rica-to-deport-600-african-migrants.

[104] CDH Fray Matias, “Privacion Indefinida De Libertad Y Violaciones De Derechos, Persisten En El Centro De Detencion Para Migrantes De Tapachula, Ante La Mirada Y Colaboracion De Funcionarios Estadounidenses,”20 January 2016, http://cdhfraymatias.org/sitio/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/COMUNICADO_0116.pdf.

[105] Nina Lakhani, “Human rights groups sue US over immigration payments to Mexico,” The Guardian, 12 February 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/12/human-rights-group-sue-immigration-mexico.

[106] Australian Parliament, Bills Digest No. 62 2001-02: Border Protection (Validation and Enforcement Powers) Bill 2001, Parliamentary Library, Parliament of Australia, 2001.

[107] Ronald Reagan, Presidential Proclamation No. 4865, 29 September 1981.

[108] Christopher Mitchell, The Political Costs of State Power, in The Wall Around the West, Andreas, Peter, & Timothy Snyder, editors, Rowman & Littlefield: 2000, p. 88.

[109] Tara Magner, A Less Than ‘Pacific’ Solution for Asylum Seekers in Australia, 16 Int’l J. of Refugee Law 1, (2004).

[110] Congressional Research Service, Cuban Migration to the United States: Policy and Trends, CRS. 2, June 2009.

[111] William J. Clinton, Alien Smuggling, Presidential Decision Directive-9, 18 June 1993.

[112] U.S. Department of Justice, INS ‘Global Reach’ Initiative Counters Rise of International Migrant Smuggling, INS Press Release, 27 June 2001.

[113] George Regan, Combating Illegal Immigration: A Progress Report, Testimony before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, 23 April 1997.

[114] U.S. Department of Justice, INS and Central American Governments Disrupt Alien Smuggling Operations, INS Press Release, 17 October 2000.

[115] U.S. Department of Justice, Largest Multinational Alien Smuggling Operation Results in 7,898 Arrests in Latin America and Caribbean, International Cooperation of 14 Nations Called Key to Success, INS Press Release, 27 June 2001.

[116] U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Statement on Visit to Central American Nations of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, 10 November 2000.

[117] Miami Herald, Illegal Migrants Languish in Guatemala, 26 December 2011.

[118] Michael Flynn, Donde Esta La Frontera?, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July/August 2002.

[119] Michael Flynn, Donde Esta La Frontera?, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July/August 2002.

[120] Anthony S. Tangemon, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, U.S. House of Representatives, 18 May 1999.

[121] Michael Flynn, Donde Esta La Frontera?, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July/August 2002.

[122] CDH Fray Matias, “Privacion Indefinida De Libertad Y Violaciones De Derechos, Persisten En El Centro De Detencion Para Migrantes De Tapachula, Ante La Mirada Y Colaboracion De Funcionarios Estadounidenses,”20 January 2016, http://cdhfraymatias.org/sitio/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/COMUNICADO_0116.pdf.

[123] U.S. Coast Guard, Alien Migrant Interdiction, http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg531/AMIO/FlowStats/currentstats.asp.

[124] U.S. Embassy Nassau, Royal Bahamas Defence Force Officers Participate in Tour of Florida’s Primary Immigration Detention Center, Press Release, 11 September 2010.

[125] Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Freedom of Information Act Office (Catrina M. Pavlik-Kenan), Letter to Michael Flynn (Global Detention Project), 7 November 2007, http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/sites/default/files/fileadmin/docs/US_Department_of_Homeland_Security_2007_1_.pdf.  

[126] Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ERO Custody Management Division, “FY2010/2012 Count of Detainees un ICE Facilities with a Facility Length of Stay Over 2Days,” http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/sites/default/files/foia_13-31381_fy10-fy12.xlsx.

[127] Dora Schriro (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), Immigration Detention: Overview and Recommendations, October 2009, https://www.ice.gov/doclib/about/offices/odpp/pdf/ice-detention-rpt.pdf.

[128] U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops & The Center for Migration Studies, Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System, 2015.

[129] U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Detention Facility Locator, last accessed on 13 April 2016.

[130] Donald Kerwin (Center for Migration Studies), email to Michael Flynn (Global Detention Project), 20 April 2016: “They definitely use more than 78 facilities. Perhaps these 78 always have somebody in them or (by contract) are required to always have somebody in them. … On September 22, 2012, ICE held detainees in 189 facilities. That, we do know.” Donald Kerwin, “Piecing Together the U.S. Immigrant Detention Puzzle One Night at a Time: An Analysis of All Persons in DHS-ICE Custody on September 22, 2012,” Journal on Migration and Human Security 4 (2015): 330-376.

[131] Donald Kerwin, “Piecing Together the U.S. Immigrant Detention Puzzle One Night at a Time: An Analysis of All Persons in DHS-ICE Custody on September 22, 2012,” Journal on Migration and Human Security 4 (2015): 330-376.

[132] William Selway & Margaret Newkirk, Congress Mandates Private Jail Beds for 34,000 Immigrants, Bloomberg, 24 September 2013, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-09-24/congress-fuels-private-jails-detaining-34-000-immigrants.

[133] Esther Yu-His Lee, Homeland Security Head Insists ‘Bed Mandate’ is Not a Quota to Fill Detention Centers, Think Progress, 12 March 2014, http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2014/03/12/3391911/jeh-johnson-bed-mandate-quota/.

[134] The Daily Outrage, Congress Members Weigh in Against Detention Bed Quota, 22 March 2016, Center for Constitutional Rights, http://www.ccrjustice.org/home/blog/2016/03/22/congress-members-weigh-against-detention-bed-quota.

[135] National Immigrant Justice Center, Background on Family Detention, January 2015, http://www.immigrantjustice.org/sites/immigrantjustice.org/files/Background%20on%20Family%20Detention.pdf.

[136] National Immigrant Justice Center, Background on Family Detention, January 2015, http://www.immigrantjustice.org/sites/immigrantjustice.org/files/Background%20on%20Family%20Detention.pdf.

[137] Immigration Impact, A Visit to Berks Family Detention Center Makes Clear Why They Lost Their License, American Immigration Council, 22 February 2016, http://immigrationimpact.com/2016/02/22/berks-family-detention-center/.

[138] Although the use of “subfield” offices for holding people for long periods of time has officially been halted, they previously were the subject of widespread attention when researchers uncovered information about nearly 200 “unlisted and unmarked subfield offices,” some located in commercial spaces and office parks. See Jacqueline Stevens, “Americas Secret ICE Castles,” The Nation, 16 December 2009, http://www.thenation.com/article/americas-secret-ice-castles/.

[139] American Immigration Council, Way Too Long: Prolonged Detention in Border Patrol Holding Cells, Government Records Show, 10 June 2015, http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/way-too-long-prolonged-detention-border-patrol-holding-cells-government-records-show.

[140] American Immigration Council, Way Too Long: Prolonged Detention in Border Patrol Holding Cells, Government Records Show, 10 June 2015, http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/way-too-long-prolonged-detention-border-patrol-holding-cells-government-records-show.

[141] American Immigration Council, Way Too Long: Prolonged Detention in Border Patrol Holding Cells, Government Records Show, 10 June 2015, http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/way-too-long-prolonged-detention-border-patrol-holding-cells-government-records-show.

[142] Martha Terry (CBP FOIA Division), Letter to Lydia Medland (Access Info Europe), 16 August 2013.

[143] Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ERO Custody Management Division, “FY2010/2012 Count of Detainees un ICE Facilities with a Facility Length of Stay Over 2Days,” http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/sites/default/files/foia_13-31381_fy10-fy12.xlsx.

[144] Dora Schriro (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “Immigration Detention: Overview and Recommendations,” October 2009, https://www.ice.gov/doclib/about/offices/odpp/pdf/ice-detention-rpt.pdf; Detention Watch Network, Expose & Close Report – Executive Summary, November 2012, https://www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/sites/default/files/reports/DWN%20Expose%20and%20Close%20Executive%20Summary.pdf.

[145] Amnesty International, USA: Jailed Without Justice, 25 March 2009,  http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/usa-jailed-without-justice?page=show.

[146] Inter‐American Commission on Human Rights, Report on Immigration in the United States: Detention and Due Process, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.

[147] U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, With Liberty and Justice for All: The State of Civil Right at Immigration Detention Facilities, September 2015, http://www.usccr.gov/OIG/Statutory_Enforcement_Report2015.pdf.

[148] Migration and Refugee Services/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops & The Center for Migration Studies, Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System, 2015.

[149] Amnesty International, USA: Jailed Without Justice, 25 March 2009, http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/usa-jailed-without-justice?page=show.

[150] Global Detention Project, Immigration Detention and the Law: U.S. Policy and Legal Framework, August 2010, http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/content/immigration-detention-and-law-us-policy-and-legal-framework-0.

[151] Maria L. La Ganga, Transgender Detainees at High Risk of Assault in US Immigration Facilities, The Guardian, 23 March 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/23/transgender-detainees-sexual-assault-ice-custody.

[152] Brian Stauffer, “Do You See How Much I’m Suffering Here?”, Human Rights Watch, 23 March 2016, https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/03/23/do-you-see-how-much-im-suffering-here/abuse-against-transgender-women-us.

Centres List

No detention centres data available

Statistics Expand all



323,591

Total number of immigration detainees by year

2017

  • Total number of immigration detainees by year
NumberObservation Date
323,5912017
352,8822016
307,3422015
440,5572013
477,5232012
429,2472011
363,0642010
383,5242009
378,5822008
311,1692007
256,8422006
237,6672005
231,1422004
227,6772003
198,3072002
204,4592001


Mexico

Top nationalities of detainees

2016

  • Top nationalities of detainees
Countries ordered by rankObservation Date
Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti2016
Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador2015
Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador2014
Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic2013
Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic2012
Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic2011
Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic2010


22,201

Number of persons granted alternatives to immigration detention

2014

  • Number of persons granted alternatives to immigration detention
NumberObservation Date
22,2012014
40,6132013
17,4542011
19,1602009


44,270

Number of detained asylum seekers

2016

  • Number of detained asylum seekers
NumberObservation Date
44,2702016
15,6832010


59,170

Number of detained unaccompanied minors

2016

  • Number of detained unaccompanied minors
NumberObservation Date
59,1702016
52,5392014
19,4182009


0

Number of detained stateless persons

2014

  • Number of detained stateless persons
NumberObservation Date
02014
02012


454,001

Number of apprehensions of non-citizens

2017

  • Number of apprehensions of non-citizens
NumberObservation Date
454,0012017
530,2502016
662,4832013
671,3272012
678,6062011
796,5872010
889,2032009
1,043,7992008


0.7

Immigration detainees as a percentage of total international migrant population

2015

  • Immigration detainees as a percentage of total international migrant population
PercentageObservation Date
0.72015
0.962013
0.822010


44,000

Estimated total immigration detention capacity

2017

  • Estimated total immigration detention capacity
NumberObservation Date
44,0002017
31,0002016
33,4002009
6,7851994


24

Number of immigration offices

2017

  • Number of immigration offices
NumberObservation Date
242017


4,575

Number of criminal facilities

2006

  • Number of criminal facilities
NumberObservation Date
4,5752006


446,223

Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)

2016

  • Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)
NumberObservation Date
446,2232016
462,4632015
616,7922013
648,7832012
709,2582011
856,4982010
974,2212009
1,171,0582008
1,210,7722007
1,324,3552006
1,343,3512005
1,407,2412004
1,156,3922003
1,177,2842002
1,538,3972001


226,119

Number of deportations/forced returns only

2017

  • Number of deportations/forced returns only
NumberObservation Date
226,1192017
240,2552016


2,300,000

Criminal prison population

2018

  • Criminal prison population
NumberObservation Date
2,300,0002018
2,145,1002015
2,228,4242012
2,270,1422010
2,307,5042008
2,258,7922006
2,135,3352004
2,033,0222002
1,937,4822000
1,585,5861995
1,148,7021990
744,2081985
503,5861980


5.2

Percentage of foreign prisoners

2014

  • Percentage of foreign prisoners
PercentageObservation Date
5.22014
5.52013
6.82011


666

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)

2015

  • Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
NumberObservation Date
6662015
7312010
7582007
7252004
6852001
6551998
5921995
5011992



324,100,000

Population

2016

  • Population
NumberObservation Date
324,100,0002016
321,774,0002015
321,774,0002015
318,857,0002014
316,498,0002013
314,112,0002012
311,722,0002011
309,347,0002010
306,772,0002009
304,094,0002008
301,231,0002007
298,380,0002006
295,517,0002005
227,224,6811980
205,052,1741969


46,627,100

International migrants

2015

  • International migrants
NumberObservation Date
46,627,1002015
45,785,1002013
44,183,6432010
34,814,0532000
23,251,0261990


14.5

International migrants as a percentage of the population

2015

  • International migrants as a percentage of the population
PercentageObservation Date
14.52015
14.32013
14.22010
12.22000
9.11990


11,000,000

Estimated number of undocumented migrants

2015

  • Estimated number of undocumented migrants
NumberObservation Date
11,000,0002015
11,300,0002014
11,250,0002013
11,200,0002012
11,500,0002011
11,400,0002010


272,898

Refugees

2016

  • Refugees
NumberObservation Date
272,8982016
273,2022015
267,2222014
263,6622013
262,0232012
264,7632011
264,5742010
275,4612009
279,5482008
281,2192007
843,4982006
379,3402005
508,2222000
623,2941995
464,8871990


8.3

Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants

2014

  • Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
NumberObservation Date
8.32014
0.822013
0.842012


137,697

Total number of new asylum applications

2017

  • Total number of new asylum applications
NumberObservation Date
137,6972017
204,7212016
96,1522014
68,2432013
66,1012012


44.9

Refugee recognition rate

2014

  • Refugee recognition rate
NumberObservation Date
44.92014
662011


0

Stateless persons

2016

  • Stateless persons
NumberObservation Date
02016
02014
02012

Domestic Law Expand all

Legal tradition Show sources
NameObservation Date
Common law

Constitutional guarantees?
NameConstitution and ArticlesYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
YesThe Constitution of the United States of America: Article 1 section 9; Amendment V; Amendment XIV Section 117871787
Core pieces of national legislation Show sources
NameYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
8 United States Code (U.S.C.). Aliens and Nationality. § 1225 - Inspection by immigration officers; expedited removal of inadmissible arriving aliens; referral for hearing19522008
8 United States Code (U.S.C.). Aliens and Nationality. § 1231 - Detention and removal of aliens ordered removed19522006
8 United States Code (U.S.C.). Aliens and Nationality. § 1226 - Apprehension and detention of aliens 19521996
8 United States Code (U.S.C.). Aliens and Nationality. § 1325 - Improper entry by alien19521996
8 United States Code (U.S.C.). Aliens and Nationality. § 1326 - Reentry of removed aliens19521996
8 United States Code (U.S.C.). Aliens and Nationality. § 1362 - Right to counsel19521996
8 United States Code (U.S.C.). Aliens and Nationality. § 1222 - Detention of aliens for physical and mental examination19521996
8 United States Code (U.S.C.). Aliens and Nationality. § 1537 - Custody and release after removal hearing19521996
8 United States Code (U.S.C.). Aliens and Nationality. § 1228 - Expedited removal of aliens convicted of committing aggravated felonies19521996
Additional legislation Show sources
NameYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 1003 - Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)19582015
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 235 - Inspection of Persons Applying for Admission (DHS)19972014
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 208 - Procedures for Asylum and Witholding of Removal (DHS)19972013
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 1208 - Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal (EOIR)19972013
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 1240 - Proceedings to Determine Removability of Aliens in the United States (EOIR)19972013
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 1292 - Representation and Appearances (EOIR)19672013
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 212 - Documentary Requirements: Nonimmigrants; Waivers; Admission of Certain Inadmissible Aliens; Parole (DHS)19522011
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 214 - Nonimmigrant classes (DHS)19972011
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 236 - Apprehension and Detention of Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens; Removal of Aliens Ordered Removed (DHS)19972011
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 238 - Expedited Removal of Aggravated Felons (DHS)19972011
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 240 - Voluntary Departure, Suspension of Deportation and Special Rule Cancellation of Removal (DHS)19972011
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 241 - Apprehension and Detention of Aliens Ordered Removed (DHS)19972011
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 244 - Temporary Protected Status for Nationals of Designated States (DHS)19912011
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 280 - Imposition and Collection of Fines (DHS)19572011
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 287 - Field Officers: Powers and Duties (DHS)19572011
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 292 - Representation and Appearances (DHS)19582011
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 1235 - Inspection of Persons Applying for Admission (EOIR)19972009
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 1241 - Apprehension and Detention of Aliens Ordered Removed (EOIR)19972008
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 1287 - Field Officers: Powers and Duties (EOIR)19852004
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 1214 - Review of Nonimmigrant Classes (EOIR)20032003
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 1238 - Expedited Removal of Aggravated Felons (EOIR)19972003
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 1236 - Apprehension and Detention of Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens; Removal of Aliens Ordered Removed (EOIR)19972002
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 1244 - Temporary Protected Status for Nationals of Designated States (EOIR)19911999
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality. § 213 - Admission of Aliens on Giving Bond or Cash Deposit (DHS)19641997
Regulations, standards, guidelines Show sources
NameYear Published
Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies2017
Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest2017
Further Guidance Regarding the Care of Transgender Detainees2015
Guidance Regarding Cases Pending Before EOIR Impacted by Secretary Johnson's Memorandum Entitled 'Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants'2015
Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants2015
Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention Directive2014
Memorandum on 'Secure Communities'2014
Review of the Use of Segregation for ICE Detainees2014
Parental Interests Directive2013
Civil Immigration Detention: Guidance for New Identification and Information-Sharing Procedures Related to Unrepresented Detainees With Serious Mental Disorders or Conditions2013
National Detainer Guidance2012
Transfer Directive2012
Memorandum on Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion Consistent with the Civil Immigration Enforcement Priorities of the Agency for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Aliens2011
Prosecutorial Discretion Memo: Certain Victims, Witnesses and Plaintiffs. 2011. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement2011
Memoradum on Removal Proceedings of Aliens with Pending or Approved Petitions2011
Memoradum on ICE Civil Immigration Enforcement Priorities2010
ICE Strategic Plan2010
Memorandum on Refocusing Fugitive Operations2009
Policy Directive on Parole of Arriving Aliens with a Credible Fear of Persecution2009
Policy Directive on Reporting Detainee Deaths2009
The Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS 2008)2008
Family Residential Standards2007
National Detention Standards (NDS)2000

Immigration-status-related grounds Show sources
NameObservation Date
Detention to prevent unauthorised entry at the border2015
Detention during the asylum process2015
Detention for unauthorised entry or stay2015
Detention to prevent absconding2015
Detention for failing to respect non-custodial measures2015
Non-immigration-status-related grounds providing for administrative detention in immigration legislation. Show sources
NameObservation Date
Detention on health-related grounds2015
Detention for suspicion of terrorist-related activities2015

Does the country provide specific criminal penalties for immigration-related violations? Show sources
FinesIncarcerationObservation Date
YesYes2015
Grounds for criminal immigration-related detention/incarceration and maximum potential duration of incarceration Show sources
Grounds for IncarcerationMaximum Number of Days of IncarcerationObservation Date
Unauthorized entry7302015
Unauthorized re-entry02015

Maximum length for administrative immigration detention in law.
Number of DaysObservation Date
No Limit2016
Average length of detention Show sources
Number of DaysObservation Date
41.52002
40.22001

Provision of basic procedural standards
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Compensation for unlawful detentionNoNo2018

Types of non-custodial measures Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Release on bailYesYes2015
Supervised release and/or reportingYes2015
Electronic monitoringYes2015

Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice?
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Asylum seekersProvidedYes2015
Pregnant womenProvidedYes2015

Mandatory detention Show sources
FilterNameObservation Date
YesAsylum seekers pending final credible fear determination2015
YesNon-citizens who have been placed in removal proceedings2015
YesUndocumented non-citizens with criminal records2015

Expedited/fast track removal Show sources
NameObservation Date
Yes2015
Re-entry ban Show sources
NameObservation Date
Yes2015

International Law Expand all

Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
  7/19
International treaty reservations Show sources
NameReservation YearObservation Date
CAT Article 119941994
CAT Article 1619941994
CAT Article 1419941994
ICERD Article 219941994
ICERD Article 519941994
ICCPR Article 719921992
ICCPR Article 1419921992
ICCPR Article 1019921992
ICCRP Article 219921992
ICCPR Article 2619921992
ICCPR Article 919921992
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted Show sources
NumberObservation Date
0/3
0/3
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies Show sources
NameRecommendation ExcerptRecommendation Year
Committee against Torture

§19. [...](a) Review the use of mandatory detention for certain categories of immigrants; (b) Develop and expand community-based alternatives to immigration detention, expand the use of foster care for unaccompanied children, and halt the expansion of family detention, with a view to progressively eliminating it completely; (c) Ensure compliance with United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive, Review of the Use of Segregation for ICE Detainees, of 4 September 2013, and Performance-Based National Detention Standards 2011, in all immigration detention facilities; (d) Prevent sexual assault in immigration detention and ensure that all facilities holding immigration detainees comply with the standards provided for in the Prison Rape Elimination Act; (e) Establish an effective and independent oversight mechanism to ensure prompt, impartial and effective investigation into all allegations of violence and abuse in immigration centres.

2014
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

§18. [...] ensure that the rights of non-citizens are fully guaranteed in law and in practice, by, inter alia: (a) Abolishing “Operation Streamline” and dealing with any breaches of immigration law through the civil, rather than criminal immigration system; (b) Undertaking thorough and individualized assessment for decisions concerning detention and deportation and guaranteeing access to legal representation in all immigration-related matters.

2014
Human Rights Committee

§15.   [...]The Committee recommends that the State party review its policies of mandatory detention and deportation of certain categories of immigrants in order to allow for individualized decisions; take measures to ensure that affected persons have access to legal representation; and identify ways to facilitate access to adequate health care, including reproductive health-care services, by undocumented immigrants and immigrants and their families who have been residing lawfully in the United States for less than five years.

2014
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

§37. The Committee requests the State party to provide, in its next periodic report, detailed information on the legislation applicable to refugees and asylum-seekers, and on the alleged mandatory and prolonged detention of a large number of non-citizens, including undocumented migrant workers, victims of trafficking, asylum-seekers and refugees, as well as members of their families (arts. 5 (b), 5 (e) (iv) and 6).

2008
Committee against Torture

32.[...]The State party should design and implement appropriate measures to prevent all sexual violence in all its detention centres. The State party should ensure that all allegations of violence in detention centres are investigated promptly and independently, perpetrators are prosecuted and appropriately sentenced and victims can seek redress, including appropriate compensation.

2006

Recommendations issued by regional human rights mechanisms Show sources
NameRecommendation ExcerptRecommendation YearObservation Date
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

In 2010 the Inter‐American Commission issued a 162 page report on immigration in the USA focussing on detention and due process. The report expressed concerns and made numerous recommendations relating to:

  • the number of migrants detained;
  • a lack of alternatives to detention;
  • frequent outsourcing of the management and personal care of migration detainees to private contractors;
  • the practice of mandatory detention for broad classes of migrants;
  • the detention of migrants in prisons or “prison-like” facilities;
  • the conditions of detention and lack of amenities for detained migrants;
  • difficulties faced by migrants when obtaining legal advice in detention;
  • inadequacies in health care provision for detained migrants;
  • the practice of placing detainees with mental health issues in administrative segregation;
  • the use of expedited removal when adjudicating immigrants’ claims;
  • the frequent transfer of migrants to remote locations;
  • the bond system;
  • the detention of families and unaccompanied children.
20102010

Visits by special procedures of the Human Rights Council Show sources
NameYear of VisitObservation Date
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants20072015
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance20082015
Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions20082015
Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography20102015
Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences20112015
Relevant recommendations by UN Special Procedures Show sources
NameRecommendation ExcerptRecommendation YearObservation Date
Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

§102. The recognition of domestic minor victims of trafficking in anti-trafficking legislation and the adoption of safe harbour laws in some jurisdictions are welcome steps in the fight against child prostitution, as is the creation of initiatives such as Innocence Lost. However, a key challenge remains the lack of harmonization between Federal and state legislation, and between States, for instance regarding the definition of the age of a child. Further, law enforcement in certain jurisdictions still identifies children involved in prostitution as criminals rather than as victims. Detaining children involved in prostitution also occurs due to a lack of viable and safe placement alternatives for children where they can receive the care and protection they need.

20112011
Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences

§115. [...] (m) Improve and adopt national standards to transform the country’s immigration detention system into a truly civil model, thus avoiding the custody of immigrant detainees with convicted individuals. These standards should be made legally binding in all detention facilities, including those run by state, local, or private contractors. (n) Locate immigration detention facilities closer to urban centers where legal services and family members are more accessible.

20112011
Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

§75. Deaths in immigration detention

• All deaths in immigration detention should be promptly and publicly reported and investigated.

• The Department of Homeland Security should promulgate regulations, through the normal administrative rulemaking process, for provision of medical care that are consistent with international standards.

20092009
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants

§109. The Special Rapporteur would like to make the following recommendations to the Government.

On general detention matters

§110. Mandatory detention should be eliminated; the Department of Homeland Security should be required to make individualized determinations of whether or not a non-citizen presents a danger to society or a flight risk sufficient to justify their detention.

§111. The Department of Homeland Security must comply with the Supreme Court’s decision in Zadvydas v. Davis and Clark v. Martinez. Individuals who cannot be returned to their home countries within the foreseeable future should be released as soon as that determination is made, and certainly no longer than six months after the issuance of a final order. Upon release, such individuals should be released with employment authorization, so that they can immediately obtain employment.

§112. The overuse of immigration detention in the United States violates the spirit of international laws and conventions and, in many cases, also violates the actual letter of those instruments. The availability of effective alternatives renders the increasing reliance on detention as an immigration enforcement mechanism unnecessary. Through these alternative programmes, there are many less restrictive forms of detention and many alternatives to detention that would serve the country’s protection and enforcement needs more economically, while still complying with international human rights law and ensuring just and humane treatment of migrants. Create detention standards and guidelines

§113. At the eighty-seventh session of the Human Rights Committee in July 2006, the United States Government cited the issuance of the National Detention Standards in 2000 as evidence of compliance with international principles on the treatment of immigration detainees. While this is indeed a positive step, it is not sufficient. The United States Government should create legally binding human rights standards governing the treatment of immigration detainees in all facilities, regardless of whether they are operated by the federal Government, private companies, or county agencies.

§114. Immigration detainees in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security and placed in removal proceedings, should have the right to appointed counsel. The right to counsel is a due process right that is fundamental to ensuring fairness and justice in proceedings. To ensure compliance with domestic and international law, court-appointed counsel should be available to detained immigrants.

§115. Given that the difficulties in representing detained non-citizens are exacerbated when these individuals are held in remote and/or rural locations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should ensure that the facilities where non-citizens in removal proceedings are held, are located within easy reach of the detainees’ counsel or near urban areas where the detainee will have access to legal service providers and pro bono counsel. 

Detention/deportation issues impacting unaccompanied children

§117. The Government should urge lawmakers to pass the Unaccompanied Alien Child Protection Act of 2007 reintroduced in March 2007.

§118. Children should be removed from jail-like detention centres and placed in home-like facilities. Due care should be given to rights delineated for children in custody in the American Bar Association “Standards for the Custody, Placement, and Care; Legal Representation; and Adjudication of Unaccompanied Alien Children in the United States”.

§119. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) should be amended for unaccompanied children whose parents have TPS, so they can derive status through their parents.

Situation of migrant women detained in the United States

§120. In collaboration with legal service providers and non-governmental organizations that work with detained migrant women, ICE should develop gender-specific detention standards that address the medical and mental health concerns of migrant women who have survived mental, physical, emotional or sexual violence.

§121. Whenever possible, migrant women who are suffering the effects of persecution or abuse, or who are pregnant or nursing infants, should not be detained. If these vulnerable women cannot be released from ICE custody, the Department of Homeland Security should develop alternative programmes such as intense supervision or electronic monitoring, typically via ankle bracelets. These alternatives have proven effective during pilot programmes. They are not only more humane for migrants who are particularly vulnerable in the detention setting or who have family members who require their presence, but they also cost, on average, less than half the price of detention.

Judicial review

§122. The United States should ensure that the decision to detain a non-citizen is promptly assessed by an independent court.

§123. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice should work together to ensure that immigration detainees are given the chance to have their custody reviewed in a hearing before an immigration judge. Both departments should revise regulations to make clear that asylum-seekers can request these custody determinations from immigration judges.

§124. Congress should enact legislation to ensure that immigration judges are independent of the Department of Justice, and instead part of a truly independent court system.

§125. Families with children should not be held in prison-like facilities. All efforts should be made to release families with children from detention and place them in alternative accommodation suitable for families with children.

20082008
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review Show sources
Recomendation IssuedYear IssuedObservation Date
Yes20112017
Yes2015

Institutions Expand all

Federal or centralized governing system
Federal or centralized governing systemObservation Date
Federal system2015
Centralized or decentralized immigration authority
Centralized or decentralized immigration authorityObservation Date
Centralized immigration authority2015

Custodial authority Show sources
AgencyMinistryMinistry TypologyObservation Date
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2015
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2014
Office of Refugee ResettlementDepartment of Health and Human ServicesSocial Affairs2014
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2014
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department of Homeland Security Internal or Public Security2014
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Office of Refugee Resettlement Department of Health and Human Services Social Affairs2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Office of Refugee ResettlementDepartment of Health and Human ServicesSocial Affairs2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2009
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2009
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2009
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2009
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2009
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2008
Office of Refugee ResettlementDepartment of Health and Human ServicesSocial Affairs2008
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2007
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2007
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2007
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2007
Office of Refugee ResettlementDepartment of Health and Human ServicesSocial Affairs2007
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2007
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2007
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2007
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2007
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2007
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security2006
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security
Immigration and Customs EnforcementDepartment of Homeland SecurityInternal or Public Security
Apprehending authorities
NameAgencyMinistryObservation Date
U.S. Customs and Border ProtectionLaw enforcement, border control and national security2018
U.S. Immigration and Customs EnforcementImmigration agency2018
Detention Facility Management Show sources
Entity NameEntity TypeObservation Date
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Governmental2015
Corrections Corporation America (CCA)Private For-Profit2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2015
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Governmental2015
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Governmental2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2015
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Governmental2015
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Governmental2015
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Governmental2015
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Governmental2015
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Governmental2015
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Governmental2015
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2015
GEO GroupPrivate For-Profit2014
GEO GroupPrivate For-Profit2014
Geo GroupPrivate For-Profit2014
Immigration Centers of AmericaPrivate For-Profit2014
Jackson CountyGovernment-local2014
LCS Corrections Services, Inc.Private For-Profit2014
Corrections Corporation of AmericaPrivate For-Profit2014
Management and Training CorporationPrivate For-Profit2014
Management and Training CorporationPrivate For-Profit2014
Management and Training CorporationPrivate For-Profit2014
Geo GroupPrivate For-Profit2014
Whitfield County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility AuthorityGovernmental2012
The Children's CenterPrivate Not-For-Profit2012
Orleans Parish Criminal SheriffGovernmental2012
Dakota County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Children's Village IncPrivate Not-For-Profit2012
State of Alaska Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2012
Childen's Village IncPrivate Not-For-Profit2012
Minidoka CountyGovernmental2012
Teller County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Compass HousePrivate Not-For-Profit2012
Boone County Sherrif's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Montgomery CountyGovernmental2012
Navajo County Sheriff’s OfficeGovernmental2012
The Devereux FoundationPrivate For-Profit2012
Canyon County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Mesa County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Heartland AlliancePrivate Not-For-Profit2012
Ontario County SheriffGovernmental2012
Umatilla County Sheriff 's OfficeGovernmental2012
Community Education Centers IncPrivate For-Profit2012
Fremont County SheriffGovernmental2012
City of PonomaGovernmental2012
International Education ServicesPrivate Not-For-Profit2012
Department of Corrections, Douglas County NebraskaGovernmental2012
Cabarrus County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Geo Group IncPrivate For-Profit2012
Natrona County SheriffGovernmental2012
Teton County Sheriff^s OfficeGovernmental2012
Lake Land Health Care CenterPrivate For-Profit2012
Douglas County SheriffGovernmental2012
Orange County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Pasadena Police DepartmentGovernmental2012
Community Education CentersPrivate Not-For-Profit2012
Linn County SheriffGovernmental2012
Pennington County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
CCAPrivate For-Profit2012
Maine Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2012
CCAPrivate For-Profit2012
Management and Training CorporationPrivate For-Profit2012
GEO GroupPrivate For-Profit2012
Bottineau County Sheriff DepartmentGovernmental2012
GEO Group IncPrivate For-Profit2012
Mississippi County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
La Plata County Sheriff’s OfficeGovernmental2012
LCS Correctional Services IncPrivate For-Profit2012
Charleston County SheriffGovernmental2012
Sweetwater County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
LCS Correctional Services IncPrivate For-Profit2012
Mecklenburg County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility AuthorityGovernmental2012
Community Educational Center IncPrivate For-Profit2012
Carver County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Eagle County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Corrections Corporation of IndiaPrivate For-Profit2012
Allegheny County Bureau of CorrectionsGovernmental2012
Forsyth County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Catholic CharitiesPrivate Not-For-Profit2012
Platte County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Hill County SheriffGovernmental2012
Corrections Corporations of AmericaPrivate For-Profit2012
Clinton County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Ventura County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
The Tumbleweed Center for Youth DevelopmentPrivate Not-For-Profit2012
Pinellas County Sheriffs OfficeGovernmental2012
Cass County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Alhambra City Police DepartmentGovernmental2012
Ahtna Technical Services IncPrivate For-Profit2012
Plymouth CountyGovernmental2012
Larimer County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
YouthcarePrivate Not-For-Profit2012
Geo GroupPrivate For-Profit2012
Lackawanna CountyGovernmental2012
Los Angelese County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernment-local2012
Emerald Correctional ManagementPrivate For-Profit2012
Emarald Companies IncPrivate For-Profit2012
St. Clare County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Franklin County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Pottawattamie County SheriffGovernmental2012
Cumberland County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
City of MontgomeryGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Moffat County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
City of Hampton Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Alaska Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Wakulla County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Pueblo County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Coconino County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Bristol County Sherrif's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Burnet County Sheriff’s OfficeGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Dearborn Police DepartmentGovernmental2012
Lawrence County SheriffGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Norfolk County SheriffGovernmental2012
Washoe County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Midland County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
GEO Group, Inc.Private For-Profit2012
Madison County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Vermont Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Denver Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Apache County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Polk County SheriffGovernmental2012
Rock Island County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Fairfax County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Sacramento County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Loudoun County CorrectionsGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Strafford County Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2012
Monroe County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Salt Lake County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
La Paz County Sheriff’s OfficeGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Cambria CountyGovernmental2012
Family & Children's Service of Niagra Inc.Private For-Profit2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Butler County SheriffGovernmental2012
San Bernardino County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Compass HousePrivate For-Profit2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Cowlitz County Superior CourtGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Hardin County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
North Dakota Department of Corrections and RehabilitationGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Elgin Police DepartmentGovernmental2012
Department of Corrections State of MaineGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Corrections Corporation of AmericaPrivate For-Profit2012
City of Santa AnaGovernmental2012
State of Alaska Health and Social ServicesGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Sherburne County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Northeast Nebraska Juvenile Services Inc.Private For-Profit2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Erie Count Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Chippewa County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Washtenaw County Children's ServicesGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
City of Euless, Police DepartmentGovernmental2012
Administration for Children and FamiliesGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Chase County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Alexandria Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Park County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Alexandria Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Alexandria Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Washington County Sheriff’s OfficeGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
U.S. Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Worcester CountyGovernmental2012
Alamance County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Bristol County Sherrif's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Frederick County SheriffGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Monmouth County Sheriff^s OfficeGovernmental2012
Sangamon County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
El Paso County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Department of Corrections, Douglas County NebraskaGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Sebastian County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
El Paso County SheriffGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
El Paso County SheriffGovernmental2012
Immigrations and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Elowah County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Columbia County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
County of Otero Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Gaston County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Ramsey County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
City of MontgomeryGovernmental2012
Onondaga County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Alamance County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Pike County Prison BoardGovernmental2012
Grand Forks CountyGovernmental2012
Ramsey County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Charleston County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Miller County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Josephine County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Oregon State PoliceGovernmental2012
Shawnee County Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2012
Cascade County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Gilliam, Hood River, Sherman and Wasco countiesGovernmental2012
Seneca County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Calhoun County Sheriff's OfficeGovernment-local2012
Community Education centres, Inc.Private For-Profit2012
Shawnee County Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2012
Emerald Companies Inc.Private For-Profit2012
Bergen County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
U.S. Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Community Education Centers, Inc.Private For-Profit2012
City of Henderson Police DeparmentGovernmental2012
Lutheran Social Services Inc.Private Not-For-Profit2012
Twin Falls Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Monmouth County Sheriff^s OfficeGovernmental2012
Community Education CentersPrivate For-Profit2012
Emerald CompaniesPrivate For-Profit2012
Calhoun County Sheriff's OfficeGovernment-local2012
Community Education Center IncPrivate For-Profit2012
Phelps County SheriffGovernmental2012
Morgan County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
WackenhutPrivate For-Profit2012
Federal Bureau of PrisonsGovernmental2012
Marshall County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Clinton County GovernmentGovernment-local2012
Washington County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Albany County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Marion County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Fairfax County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Howard County Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2012
Carroll CountyGovernmental2012
WackenhutPrivate For-Profit2012
McHenry County SheriffGovernmental2012
Nobles County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
York County Department of PrisonsGovernmental2012
Dodge County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
The GEO Group, Inc.Private For-Profit2012
Hudson County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Emerald CompaniesPrivate For-Profit2012
Kenosha County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Sarpy County Sheriffs OfficeGovernment-local2012
Caldwell County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Klamath County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Los Angelese County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement BureauGovernmental2012
Lubbock County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement BureauGovernmental2012
Sarpy County Sheriffs OfficeGovernmental2012
Lubbock County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Albany County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
County of Berks Children and Youth ServicesGovernmental2012
Monroe County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Hall County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Monroe County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Alexandria Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
City of Henderson Police DeparmentGovernmental2012
County of Berks Children and Youth ServicesGovernmental2012
Randall County SheriffGovernmental2012
Tulsa County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
County of Berks Children and Youth ServicesGovernmental2012
State of AlaskaGovernmental2012
Polk County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
County of OteroGovernmental2012
BoystownPrivate Not-For-Profit2012
McLennan CountyGovernmental2012
Arlington County SheriffGovernmental2012
Dekalb County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Lea County Board of CommissionersGovernmental2012
Chippewa County SheriffGovernmental2012
City of Atlanta, Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2012
Lubbock County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
El Paso County SheriffGovernmental2012
Rice County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
York County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Wayne County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Norfolk County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Prince William CountyGovernmental2012
Caver County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Saint Clair County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Henderson CountyGovernmental2012
Yuba County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Chase County SheriffGovernmental2012
U.S. Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Sussex County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
United States Marshal ServiceGovernmental2012
Calhoun County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Clinton County GovernmentGovernmental2012
Davidson County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Jackson County SheriffGovernmental2012
Allegany County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Ahtna Technical Services, Inc.Private For-Profit2012
Lincoln County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Bedford Heights Police DepartmentGovernmental2012
Scott County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Bedford Police DepartmentGovernmental2012
Elmore County SheriffGovernmental2012
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2012
Yakima Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2012
Yellowstone County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Pike County Prison BoardGovernmental2012
Cobb County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Baptist Child and Family ServucesPrivate For-Profit2012
Montgomery County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Wake County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
LCS Corrections Services Inc.Private For-Profit2012
Glades County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2012
Collier County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Bay Point SchoolPrivate Not-For-Profit2012
Yavapai County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Jefferson County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional AuthorityGovernmental2012
Lexington County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
Lutheran Social Services of the South IncPrivate Not-For-Profit2012
NORCORGovernmental2012
BoystownPrivate Not-For-Profit2012
Rockingham County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2012
New York State Commission of CorrectionGovernmental2010
Bay Point SchoolsPrivate Not-For-Profit2009
Ahtna Technical Services, Inc.Private For-Profit2009
Central Falls Detention Facility CorporationPrivate For-Profit2009
Management and Training CorporationPrivate For-Profit2009
Cornell CorrectionsPrivate For-Profit2009
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2009
Central Falls Detention Facility CorporationPrivate For-Profit2009
U.S. Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2009
Cornell CorrectionsPrivate For-Profit2009
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2009
GEO GroupPrivate For-Profit2009
Southwest KeysPrivate For-Profit2008
Tumbleweed Centre for Youth DevelopmentPrivate Not-For-Profit2008
Heartland/ICCPrivate For-Profit2008
Children's VillagePrivate For-Profit2008
Tampa Bay AcademyPrivate For-Profit2008
Lutheran Social Services of the SouthPrivate Not-For-Profit2008
Devereux ArizonaPrivate For-Profit2008
YouthcarePrivate For-Profit2008
Pioneer Human ServicesPrivate For-Profit2008
The Children’s Center, Inc.Governmental2008
Catholic Community ServicesPrivate Not-For-Profit2008
Corrections Corporation of AmericaPrivate For-Profit2008
Bokenkamp Children's CentrePrivate Not-For-Profit2008
Franklin County's Sheriff OfficeGovernmental2008
Southwest Indiana Regional Youth VillagePrivate For-Profit2008
Catholic CharitiesPrivate Not-For-Profit2008
Lutheran Social ServicesPrivate Not-For-Profit2008
International Education Services, Inc.Private For-Profit2008
Baptist Child and Family ServicesPrivate Not-For-Profit2008
Bay Point SchoolsPrivate For-Profit2008
Marin CountyGovernmental2008
Department of Juvenile JusticeGovernmental2008
Yolo CountyGovernmental2008
Massachusetts Department of CorrectionGovernmental2008
International Education ServicesPrivate For-Profit2008
Federal Bureau of PrisonsGovernmental2008
Barnstable County Sheriffs OfficeGovernmental2008
Open Arms InternationalPrivate For-Profit2008
Essex County SheriffGovernmental2008
Suffolk County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2008
Adam's County SheriffGovernmental2007
Middlesex County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Erie County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Connecticut Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2007
Weber County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Oklahoma County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2007
Grant County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Oneida County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
U.S. Marshals ServiceGovernmental2007
County Law EnforcementGovernmental2007
GEO GroupPrivate For-Profit2007
LCS Corrections ServicesPrivate For-Profit2007
Lakeland Nursing HomePrivate For-Profit2007
Corrections Corporation of AmericaPrivate For-Profit2007
Hamilton County Sheriffs OfficeGovernmental2007
Summit County SheriffGovernmental2007
New Hampsire Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2007
City of Corpus ChristiGovernmental2007
West Baton Rouge Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Lasalle County SheriffGovernmental2007
Wayne County SheriffGovernmental2007
Wicomico CountyGovernmental2007
RamadaPrivate For-Profit2007
Bexar County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Catholic Charities Diocese of San DiegoPrivate Not-For-Profit2007
Santa Clara County Department of CorrectionGovernmental2007
U.S. Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2007
Santa Ana Jail BureauGovernmental2007
Brooks County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Lackawanna County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Lutheran Community Services NorthwestPrivate Not-For-Profit2007
Virginia Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2007
Guadalupe CountyGovernmental2007
Minnehaha County SheriffGovernmental2007
Johnston County Sherrif's DepartmentGovernmental2007
Williamson County SheriffGovernmental2007
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and CorrectionGovernmental2007
Utah County SheriffGovernmental2007
Brooks County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Chelan CountyGovernmental2007
Morgan County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
United States Marshals ServiceGovernmental2007
Crittenton Services for Children and FamiliesPrivate For-Profit2007
Franklin County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Bureau of CorrectionsGovernmental2007
Alaska Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2007
Washington County SheriffGovernmental2007
Alaska Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2007
United States Marshals ServiceGovernmental2007
Garfield County SheriffGovernmental2007
Sussex County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Montgomery County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2007
Gila CountyGovernmental2007
Madison County SheriffGovernmental2007
Rockingham County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2007
Kent County SheriffGovernmental2007
Santa Clara County Department of CorrectionGovernmental2007
Immigration and Customs EnforcementGovernmental2007
Mercer County Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2007
Harris County Sherrif's DepartmentGovernmental2007
Lincoln County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Hannover CountyGovernmental2007
Correctional Services CorporationPrivate For-Profit2007
Virginia Beach Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Southern Ute TribeGovernmental2007
Wyoming County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Vermont Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2007
Chelan CountyGovernmental2007
Palm Beach County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2007
Iowa National GuardGovernmental2007
Brooks County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Nassau County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Benton County SheriffGovernmental2007
Econolodge MotelPrivate For-Profit2007
Monroe County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Lutheran Social Services of MichiganPrivate Not-For-Profit2007
City of North Las Vegas Police DepartmentGovernmental2007
Citrus County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2007
Department of Corrections GuamGovernmental2007
Berk County Sheriff's DepartmentGovernmental2007
Washington County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
St. Mary's County SheriffGovernmental2007
Cattaraugus County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Arapahoe County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Alaska Department of CorrectionsGovernmental2007
New York State Commission of CorrectionGovernmental2007
New York State Commission of CorrectionsGovernmental2007
Texas Department of Criminal JusticeGovernmental2007
City of Maple Heights Police DepartmentGovernmental2007
Kern County Sheriffs OfficeGovernmental2007
Bureau of PrisonsGovernmental2007
Blount County Tennessee Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Genessee County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Chautauqua County Office of the SheriffGovernmental2007
Federal Bureau of PrisonsGovernmental2007
Comfort Suites HotelPrivate For-Profit2007
Bell County SheriffGovernmental2007
Ada County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
U.S. Coast GuardGovernmental2007
Colquitt CountyGovernmental2007
Macomb County Sheriff's OfficeGovernmental2007
Comal County Sherrif's OfficeGovernmental2007
Manatee CountyGovernmental2006
The GEO GroupPrivate For-Profit
The GEO GroupPrivate For-Profit
The GEO GroupPrivate For-Profit
The GEO GroupPrivate For-Profit
The GEO GroupPrivate For-Profit
Types of detention facilities used in practice
Immigration detention centre (Administrative)Immigration field office (Administrative)Transit centre (Administrative)Reception centre (Administrative)Offshore detention centre (Administrative)Hospital (Administrative)Border guard (Administrative)Police station (Criminal)National penitentiary (Criminal)Local prison (Criminal)Juvenile detention centre (Criminal)Informal camp (Ad hoc)Immigration detention centre (Ad hoc)Surge facility (Ad hoc)Observation Date
2015
2015
2015

Do internal inspection agencies (IIAs) carry out visits? Show sources
Do IIAs regularly carry out visits?Observation Date
Yes2017

Types of privatisation/outsourcing Show sources
Types of Privatisation/OutsourcingObservation Date
Detention facility management2012
Detention facility security2012
Detention facility ownership2012
Food services2012
Health services2012
Social services2012
Facility maintenance2012
Detention contractors and other non-state entities Show sources
Name of entityType of entityDetainee transportFood servicesHealth careSocial servicesLaundry servicesLegal counsellingManagementOwner of detention facilityRecreationSecurityTelephone serviceTranslation servicesObservation Date
ABL Management Inc.For profit2012
Ahtna Technical ServicesFor profit2012
AKAL SecurityFor profit2012
Allegheny Correctional Health ServicesFor profit2012
Aramark Inc.For profit2012
Asset SecurityFor profit2012
Baptist Child and Family ServicesNot for profit2012
Bay Point SchoolNot for profit2012
BoystownNot for profit2012
Canteen Correctional ServicesFor profit2012
Carolina Center for Occupational HealthFor profit2012
Catholic CharitiesNot for profit2012
CBM Managed ServicesFor profit2012
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)For profit2012
CEC Inc. For profit2012
The Children's Center Inc. Not for profit2012
Children's Village Inc.Not for profit2012
Compass Group Canteen ServicesFor profit2012
Compass HouseNot for profit2012
Conmed Healthcare Management For profit2012
Corizon For profit2012
Correct Care Solutions For profit2012
Correction Health Care Inc.For profit2012
Correctional Healthcare CompaniesFor profit2012
Correctional Health Management For profit2012
Denver Health Medical Center For profit2012
The Devereux Foundation Not for profit2012
Emerald Companies Inc.For profit2012
Family and Children's Services of Niagara Inc.Not for profit2012
GEO Group Inc.For profit2012
Heartland Alliance Not for profit2012
Killer Corp.For profit2012
Lakeland Health Care CenterFor profit2012
LCS Corrections Services IncFor profit2012
Lutheran Social Services Not for profit2012
MTC For profit2012
NNJS Inc. For profit2012
Northrop GrummanFor profit2012
Oasis Management Systems For profit2012
Pennsylvania Immigration Resource CenterNot for profit2012
Prison Health Services Inc.For profit2012
The Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development Not for profit2012
Wexford Health Sources Inc.For profit2012
YouthcareNot for profit2012

Estimated annual budget for detention operations Show sources
Estimated total annual budget for detention operations (in USD)Building and maintenanceSecurityStaffingFoodMedicalTransportObservation Date
2,147,483,6472017
1,960,000,0002013
Estimated cost per detainees day (in USD) Show sources
Estimated cost per detainees day (in USD)Observation Date
1192015

Socio Economic Data Expand all

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD) Show sources
Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)Observation Date
57,6382016
56,4692015
54,6302014
52,9802013
51,4572012
49,7812011
48,3742010
Remittances to the country Show sources
Remittances to the country (in millions USD)Observation Date
6,8792014
6,6952013
6,3542012
6,1042011
5,9302010
Remittances from the country Show sources
Remittances from the country (in millions USD)Observation Date
53,5902013
52,5112012
50,5562011
50,7762010
Unemployment Rate Show sources
Unemployment RateObservation Date
4.42017
4.92016
5.32015
6.22014
7.42013
8.12012
8.92011
9.62010
9.32009
Unemployment rate amongst migrants Show sources
Unemployment rate amongst migrantsObservation Date
42016
52015
5.62014
6.92013
8.12012
9.12011
9.82010
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD) Show sources
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in USD)Observation Date
32,215.32014
31,496.62013
31,124.52012
31,937.32011
32,002.82010
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP) Show sources
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)UNDP four-tiered rankingObservation Date
5Very high2014
3Very high2013
3Very high2012
4Very high2011
4Very high2010

Detention for deterrence Show sources
Detention for deterrenceObservation Date
“Defendants submit that eliminating DHS’s ability to use the authorities Congress has provided in the INA to respond to illegal entries could undo the progress that has been achieved in reducing the number of families illegally crossing the Southwest border since the summer of 2014. Specifically, the proposed remedies could heighten the risk of another surge in illegal migration across our Southwest border by Central American families, including by incentivizing adults to bring children with them on their dangerous journey as a means to avoid detention and gain access to the interior of the United States.” Defendants' response to a court ruling against the Government in the case of Jenny Flores vs. Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the United States, et al.2015
"l believe this is an effective deterrent" ... "Frankly, we want to send a message that our border is not open to illegal migration, and if you come here, you should not expect to simply be released". Jeh C. Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, speaking at the opening of a new detention centre in Dilley, Texas. 2014
"Expected to open in December, the South Texas Family Residential Center will be the fourth facility the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is using to increase its capacity to detain and expedite the removal of adults with children who illegally crossed the Southwest border. These facilities will help ensure more timely and effective removals that comply with our legal and international obligations, while deterring others from taking the dangerous journey and illegally crossing into the United State." ICE Press Release. 2014
“I have concluded that implementation of a ‘no bond’ or ‘high bond’ policy would significantly reduce the unlawful mass migration of Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Salvadoran [sic]”... “current detainees already are motivated, inter alia, by the belief that they would receive release from detention. Validating this belief further encourages mass migration”. Assistant Director of Field Operations for Enforcement and Removal Operations, Philip T. Miller, in an affidavit submitted to bond hearings before immigration judges.2014
Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration Show sources
% who agree with the statement “We should restrict and control entry of people into our country more than we do now.”Observation Date
752007
Immigration Index Score Show sources
Immigration Integration RankingObservation Date
92015
92014
92011
World Bank Rule of Law Index Show sources
Percentile rank among all countries (ranges from 0 (lowest) to 100 (highest) rank)Estimate of governance (ranges from approximately -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong) )Observation Date
9102013
91-0.82012
91-12011
92-0.72010
Domestic Opinion Polls on Immigration Show sources
Domestic Opinion Polls on ImmigrationObservation Date
72% of Americans say that undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. should be allowed to stay in the country legally, if certain requirements are met. 39% say legal immigration should be kept at its present level, while 31% believe legal immigration levels should be decreased and 24% believe levels should increase. 2015
"Would you say that the children now coming from Central America into the U.S. is…" 36% A crisis; 43% A serious problem, but not a crisis; 19% A minor problem; 2% Don’t know/Refused. "We should provide refuge and protection for all people who come to the U.S. when they are facing serious danger in their home country." 26% Completely agree; 45% Mostly agree; 17% Mostly disagree; 10% Completely disagree; 2% Don’t know/Refused. "The U.S. should NOT allow children now coming from Central America to stay because it will encourage others to ignore our laws and increase illegal immigration." %27 Completely agree; %32 Mostly agree; %27 Mostly disagree; %12 Completely disagree; %2 Don’t know/Refused. "While children from Central America are waiting for their cases to be heard, they should be released to the care of relatives, host families or churches rather than be detained by immigration authorities." 31% Completely agree; 40% Mostly agree; 15% Mostly disagree; 13% Completely disagree; 2% Don’t know/Refused.2014

Country Links


Additional Resources


Immigration Detention of Children: Coming to a Close?

Immigration Detention of Children: Coming to a Close? The GDPs Michael Flynn participated in this two-day conference co-hosted by the Council of Europe and the Czech Ministry of Justice(25-26 September 2017). Information about the event is available here. Flynn’s presentation was titled “Are There ‘Alternatives’ for Children?” “Are There ‘Alternatives’ for Children?” By Michael Flynn […]

Putting Immigration Detention in Interdisciplinary Perspective

What can we learn from the interdisciplinary study of immigration detention regimes? Michael Flynn explains in this essay for Oxford University’s “Border Criminologies” research network.

Statement to the Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries Panel on “PMSCs in places of deprivation of liberty and their impact on human rights”

Statement to the Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries Panel on “PMSCs in places of deprivation of liberty and their impact on human rights” Michael Flynn, Global Detention Project 27 April 2017   I am the Director of the Global Detention Project, a research center based in Geneva that documents the use of detention […]

Immigration Detention, the Right to Liberty, and Constitutional Law: Global Detention Project Working Paper No. 22

The right to personal liberty is one of the oldest recognized rights in liberal democracies, which raises fundamental constitutional questions about the use of detention as an immigration measure. However, as this GDP Working Paper highlights, in common law countries, lengthy immigration detention on a large scale has become the norm and is largely regarded as constitutional.

Obstacles to Reforming Family Detention in the United States: Global Detention Project Working Paper No. 20

The prospect of ending the detention of immigrant families in the US appears more remote than ever as the new president begins implementing his restrictive immigration agenda. This paper, authored by the former director of ICE’s Office of Detention Policy and Planning, provides an inside look at the failure of the Obama administration to roll back family detention and urges renewed calls for reforms in the face of President Trump’s promised crackdown.

Is Infiltrating Migrant Prisons the Most Effective Way to Challenge Detention Regimes? The Case of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance: GDP Working Paper No. 17

The authors highlight efforts by undocumented youth in the United States to “infiltrate” immigration detention centres to argue that civil disobedience, a strategy often ignored by allies and advocates of immigrants, can be an effective tool to counter growing detention and deportation systems.

Capitalism and Immigration Control: What Political Economy Reveals about the Growth of Detention Systems: GDP Working Paper #16

Assessments of the political economy of detention point to a key challenge that is common to countries across the globe: how economic insecurities of host population’s translate into xenophobia and ethno-nationalist demands for more deportations, detentions, and walls.

Engaging Governments on Alternatives to Immigration Detention

A leading organizer of the global effort to promote alternatives to immigration detention explores advocacy strategies for spurring detention reforms and the rationale behind the alternatives campaign.

The Impact of Investigative Journalism on U.S. Immigration Detention Reform

An award-winning New York Times reporter reflects on the challenges journalists face in covering immigration detention and the failure of reform efforts in the United States.

The Immigration Detention Puzzle

We should be shocked that so many countries fail to provide even basic details about their immigration detention practices. And yet, for those who have worked on this issue over the last two decades, the absence of public accountability about detention comes as no surprise.

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