McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are sending fewer immigration detainers to local law enforcement agencies during the Biden administration, as compared to the Trump administration, new data shows.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) of Syracuse University, reports that in 2020, monthly detainers issued averaged around 10,000 but fell to 2,200 when President Joe Biden took office in March 2021.

Detainers issued reached 15,000 for three months in 2018, but typically averaged between 13,000 to 14,000 until 2020, TRAC reports.

(TRAC Grasphic)

ICE detainers are requests made to law enforcement agencies “to notify ICE before a removable individual is released from custody and to maintain custody of the non-citizen for a brief period of time so that ICE can take custody of that person.” 

TRAC notes that although a detainer was issued, it does not mean that ICE actually took custody of that person. Since 2003, data shows that most detainers issued were actually done under the Obama administration.

(TRAC Graphics)

The report also acknowledges that the government shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic also reflected a decrease in federal government detainers issued in early 2020.

Two-thirds of all detainers issued have been of Mexican nationals since 2003, although TRAC reports this percentage has been decreasing and fell to 57% in 2021.

Other countries with high detainer rates include Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

A list of all detainers issued by city and nationalities can be found at TRAC.