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ICE Immigration Raids: A Primer (TRAC)

February 14, 2017 (2 min read)

TRAC, Feb. 14, 2017 -

There are widespread reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) fugitive operations teams conducted immigration roundups in a number of communities across the country last week. This reportbreaks down the numbers on ICE apprehensions in recent years to provide a better picture of the role of ICE fugitive operations as compared with other components of ICE.

During FY 2016 ICE apprehended and removed an average of 1,250 individuals each week from the interior of the U.S. However, only a small portion were direct arrests by ICE itself. Most occurred when ICE simply assumed custody of individuals arrested or detained by local, state, and other federal law enforcement agencies. The identity of ICE personnel taking individuals into custody therefore results in important differences in how apprehensions take place, where they occur, and who is being targeted.

ICE fugitive operations teams are the ICE units primarily charged with the location and apprehension of individuals out in the community. Community arrests cover arrests made at an individual's residence, their work site, or elsewhere in the community where ICE personnel are able to find them.

The latest case-by-case records obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University indicate that in recent years, ICE fugitive operations teams arrested and deported an average of 250 individuals per week, or roughly one out of every five of ICE's 1,250 weekly apprehensions and removals.

The data presented in the report provide a useful baseline against which arrests under the new Trump Administration by fugitive operations teams and other components of ICE can be compared.

In addition to information on arrests by ICE fugitive teams, the full report details the work of other ICE units who make community arrests, and how often these occur. It further provides a picture day-by-day for the period October 1, 2014 through November 30, 2016 of how often ICE arrested individuals who have outstanding removal orders so that the character and occurrence of past surges in ICE arrest patterns can be viewed.

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