It’s an increase of approximately 2,000 people in the month-plus since Jan. 30, when ICE, it previously told The Daily Beast, was detaining 48,088 people. And it’s just another 2,000 people shy of the 52,000-person daily detentions ICE is asking Congress to fund in its next budget.
Asked what accounts for the increase, ICE spokeswoman Danielle Bennett said in a statement: “ICE makes custody determinations on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with U.S. law and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy, considering the merits and factors of each case while adhering to current agency priorities, guidelines and legal mandates. Ensuring there are sufficient beds available to meet the current demand for detention space is crucial to the success of ICE’s overall mission.”
It isn’t clear where ICE would have found the money for the increase. A year ago, when passing ICE’s most recent budget, legislators explicitly instructed the interior-immigration agency to cap detentions at 40,520.