Detainees Leaving ICE Detention from the
West Texas Detention Facility
Sierra Blanca, Texas
Table 1: Number leaving ICE detention
from this facility
During the most recent 12 month period for which data are available, a total of 13,938 detainees housed
at the West Texas Detention Facility left that facility because they were deported, were released under
supervision while their cases were being decided, or left ICE detention for one of a variety of other reasons.
The use of this facility for the temporary housing of federal immigration detainees was arranged
through an intergovernmental service agreement (IGSA) under which payments by ICE to another governmental
agency are made for housing federal detainees.
While the facility is government owned, it is operated by the Emerald Companies that was in the business of
providing detention services for housing federal detainees.
Those individuals who departed from this facility because they were leaving ICE detention made up 88 percent of
the 15,773 detainees housed at this facility during the last 12 months.
This report focuses on the reasons these individuals left ICE detention.
Sometimes this report speaks of these individuals as those "exiting" ICE detention, or simply as "exits."
The others remained in ICE detention but were transferred from
the West Texas Detention Facility to other facilities.
This report covers those who left ICE custody.
It excludes individuals transferred to other ICE facilities.
For more information on this facility, including individuals that were transferred, see additional TRAC reports in this series.
This report series is based upon analyses conducted by the Transactional Records Access
Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University of 1.7 million government records tracking
each individual who passed through an ICE detention facility during fiscal year 2015.
This most recent 12 month period for which comprehensive data are available covers
October 2014 through September 2015. See
About the Data.
How This Facility Ranks Nationally
Rankings on the number leaving ICE detention. The West Texas Detention Facility was one
of 637 facilities nationwide that housed ICE detainees during the most
recent 12 month period. Of these 637, there were 358 that had
at least 10 individuals who were deported or released.
Excluding those facilities with fewer than 10 exits, the
West Texas Detention Facility last year ranked in the top 2 percent nationwide in
the number of individuals leaving ICE detention.
This means that 2 percent of the locations contributed the same or a
larger numbers of exits, while 98
percent had a smaller number. See Table 1.
Deportations. Nationally, the most common reason that a detainee left ICE detention was
that they were deported from the United States.
During the most recent 12 month period for which comprehensive data are available,
nationwide 56.3 percent of those leaving ICE detention were deported
or "voluntarily" departed.
By way of comparison, a higher percentage of detainees (100 percent) left
the country from the West Texas Detention Facility because they were formally deported, or left under
the so-called "voluntary departure" procedure.
Were Detained Individuals from the Local Area?
Information on the place of arrest was not included in the available data ICE released.
However, we can examine whether the West Texas Detention Facility was the first ICE facility in which
these detainees were held.
According to ICE records, for the majority (71 percent) of these detainees, the West Texas Detention Facility
was the first place they were sent when they were detained by ICE.
The remaining 29 percent had been
transferred in from another ICE detention facility.
We can also look at how quickly they arrived at this facility after they were first detained.
A total of 75 percent arrived at the West Texas Detention Facility at some point
during the very first day they were detained by ICE.
There was considerable variability among detainees in the number of detention facilities
they had been held in before they were finally deported or released from this facility.
The number of facilities ranged as high as 9 separate locations for some detainees.
These figures again are based on an analysis of the most recent 12 months for which data are available.
For the United States as a whole, last year the average number of ICE facilities
detainees moved through was 1.8.
Detainees at the West Texas Detention Facility on average had stayed at somewhat fewer (1.5)
Table 3: Reasons individuals left ICE detention during the last 12 months
|| 99.9 %
|| 55.3 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 5.2 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 4.5 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 0.9 %
|| 0.1 %
|| 11.0 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 0.0 %
|| 19.8 %
|| 0.1 %
|| 1.0 %
|| 1.3 %
|| 0.2 %
Why Did Detainees Leave ICE Detention?
ICE records one of 29 reasons a detainee left ICE detention.
As shown in Table 3, these reasons fall into 13 general categories -- from leaving because
one is deported or removed, to leaving because one escaped or the individual died while in custody.
As mentioned earlier, the most common reason detainees left the West Texas Detention Facility
was that they were deported.
A total of 13,932 individuals (100 percent) were deported or removed from the West Texas Detention Facility during the most recent 12 month period for which data are available.
(ICE data did not distinguish between deportations and removals, and the terms are used interchangeably in this report.)
Escape and death. Nationally, there were 65 individuals who
escaped ICE detention during the latest 12 month period for which data are available,
and 6 individuals were recorded as having died in detention.
No one was recorded by the West Texas Detention Facility as either escaping or dying last year.
As shown in Table 3, no one was recorded as leaving the West Texas Detention Facility during the past 12 months for the following
Alternative ATD custody, Bonded Out, Order of recognizance, Release to ORR, Prosecutorial Discretion, Proceedings Terminated and Withdrawal. See "Reasons for Leaving ICE Detention" for a description of these categories.
Figure 2: Reasons individuals left ICE detention
Comparing Release Reasons Against The National Picture
In many respects release reasons for the West Texas Detention Facility departed from the national picture.
It was the case that a higher proportion left because they were deported from
this facility (100 percent) than was true for the U.S. as a whole (55 percent).
In addition, differences were seen for for those paroled (0
versus 5 percent), those released to the U.S. Marshal or other agency (0
versus 5 percent), individuals released on bond (none versus 11 percent), and detainees released on orders of recognizance or supervision (none versus 20 percent).
The facility's percentages fell within 3 percentage points of the national figures for all other categories.
Figure 3: Nationality of those
leaving ICE detention
Which nationalities predominate? Last year in the United States, individuals
from Mexico comprised the largest number of those leaving ICE detention. Some 43.4
percent of all detainees recorded Mexico as their country of origin.
The West Texas Detention Facility had a much larger proportion of detainees from Mexico - 95 percent among their exits.
Detainees from Mexico were also the largest single nationality group among those leaving detention from the facility.
In descending order,
the other top nationalities after Mexico that made up those leaving ICE detention
from the West Texas Detention Facility last year were:
Guatemala (3%), El Salvador (1%) and Honduras (0%).
This compared to the United States as a whole where the other top five nationalities after
Mexico were Guatemala (19%), El Salvador (15%), Honduras (12%) and Ecuador (1%).
Deportations and voluntary departures by nationality.
Within the nationalities that made up those listed in Table 4 with more than one individual, the
proportion deported or voluntarily departing
varied from 98 percent to 100 percent.
As mentioned above, this compares with 100 percent for all detainees.
Table 4: Numbers leaving ICE detention by nationality
|| 99.9 %
|| 99.9 %
|| 99.7 %
|| 98.3 %
during the last 12 months
More than one country was tied with the highest rate of 100 percent, where detainees were deported or took voluntary departure.
At the other end of the range were detainees from Honduras, where 98 percent ended up deported or were allowed voluntary departure.