Number of Immigrants Held in Detention Under Biden Reaches 26,222 in June 2021

Austin Kocher, PhD
2 min readJun 30, 2021

After months of steady decline, the number of people held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention is on the rise. Since the beginning of May, the downward trend in immigrant detention numbers has turned around and headed upward again. On June 24, 2021*, the number of people held in detention reached 26,222, the highest since June of 2020 over a year ago.

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This sudden growth in detention is not due to increases in ICE arrests, which tend to occur on the “interior” of the United States (i.e. away from the border). Rather, the growth in detention is due entirely to increased arrests from Customs and Border Protection (CBP). You can see this more clearly in the graph below.

We at TRAC, a research organization at Syracuse University, just updated this data in our Quick Facts tools online which you can view by clicking here.

Here are some other detention highlights from our Quick Facts tools:

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 26,222 in ICE detention according to data released on June 24, 2021.
  • 20,723 out of 26,222 — or 79.0% — held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data released on June 24, 2021. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.
  • ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2021, according to data released on June 24, 2021.
  • ICE arrested 2,836 and CBP arrested 19,796 of the 22,632 people booked into detention by ICE during May 2021.
  • South Texas ICE Processing Center in Pearsall, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2021, averaging 751 per day (as of June 2021).
  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 103,933 families and single individuals, according to data released on June 24, 2021.
  • San Francisco’s area office has highest number in ICE’s Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, a total of 10,992, according to data released on June 24, 2021.

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*An earlier version of this post mistakenly said “July 24, 2021.” The correct date is June 24, 2021.

Austin Kocher, PhD

I study America’s immigration enforcement system. Assistant Professor at TRAC. Graduate of OSU Geography. Online at