Arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) dropped by 5% during fiscal year 2019 in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. However, compared to the last year of the Obama administration, arrests in Texas are up 30%.
Overall, ICE arrests in the U.S. were down 10% from 2018 while the Houston and Gulf Coast region saw that number dip by 19%. ICE Acting Director Matthew Albence says the decrease is the result of redirecting resources to the U.S.-Mexico border.
ICE arrests in Texas
Harris County, which includes the city of Houston, had the most ICE arrests in the nation from 2015 to 2018, while data from 2019 is not yet available. ICE data from the past four years lists the total number of statewide arrests:
- 2019: 42,534
- 2018: 44,885
- 2017: 40,578
- 2016: 32,566
Number of detainees grows
ICE released numbers this month, showing an average detained population of 50,000, an increase of 20% over last year. Research from Syracuse University estimates the increase at nearly 30% over the last two years, with 52,000 people in custody as of November.
Concern grows over health care in ICE facilities
A whistleblower complaint outlines 17 cases of negligent health care, including four cases in Texas. The Department of Homeland Security memo blames inadequate care and oversight in ICE detention centers for three deaths.
Another complaint accuses ICE medical officials of writing a misleading report about a Rio Grande Valley man who died of meningitis while in custody. The whistleblower says the man died due to “grossly negligent” care.
Locating a friend or family member in ICE custody
ICE has an online database listing detained immigrants, which can help find friends or family members held in custody. You may also seek information at an Enforcement and Removal Operations Field Office. An experienced immigration attorney can help locate loved ones in ICE custody while protecting your privacy.