Immigrant detentions soar despite Biden’s campaign promises

Posted at 12:20 AM, Aug 05, 2021

The number of people in federal immigration detention has risen markedly under President Joe Biden.

Since the end of February, the number of detainees has more than doubled, to nearly 27,000 as of July 22. That's higher than the total detained last July under then-President Donald Trump, though it’s nowhere close to the record in August 2019, when the number of detainees exceeded 55,000, ICE data shows.

The rising detentions are a sore point for Biden’s pro-immigration allies, who had hoped he would turn the page on Trump’s hardline policies. Biden campaigned on policies like ending longer detention for those in custody and ending the use of private prisons to house those in ICE custody.

Many of the detainees have cleared their initial screening to seek asylum in the U.S.

A White House spokesman says Biden has proposed reducing the number of detention beds and shifting some of their use to processing immigrants for parole.