ICE detention numbers just hit another record high

Ice Detainees.
(Image credit: Spencer Platt / Staff)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is detaining 10,000 more people than it's allowed to.

Yet again, the law enforcement agency reports it has detained a record number of people with no signs of slowing down. ICE is holding 50,049 people in detention as of Wednesday, up 2,000 people from Jan. 30 and up 6,000 from November, figures supplied to The Daily Beast reveal.

ICE detentions have been growing since President Trump took office, with the agency's total number of detainees surpassing the record set under former President Barack Obama in 2016 and only skyrocketing since. Congress limited the number of detainees to 40,520 in its most recent ICE budget, yet the agency continues to expand detentions without explaining how it's paying for the additional beds. ICE now wants Congress to fund 52,000 detainee beds.

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Detainees are kept not only in dedicated ICE facilities, but for-profit private jails and even hotels as a last resort. Conditions are reportedly so bad at a Texas detention center that 12 infants recently released were sick and underfed, advocates said. Still, ICE Deputy Director Matt Albence insisted to The Daily Beast that the agency "really" needs another 8,000 beds "to get the [job] done."

As detention totals grow, so does the backlog of cases bogging down America's immigration court system. Read more about what this new record total means at The Daily Beast.

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Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn is a graduate of Syracuse University, with degrees in magazine journalism and information technology, along with hours to earn another degree after working at SU's independent paper The Daily Orange. She's currently recovering from a horse addiction while living in New York City, and likes to share her extremely dry sense of humor on Twitter.