U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is holding in detention more than 52,000 migrants across the country, according to an agency official. It’s reportedly the highest amount in the agency’s history.
As of Monday, ICE was holding 52,398 migrants — 998 of which are family units — in detention, BuzzFeed News reports.
“This is an avoidable humanitarian crisis manufactured by the Trump administration’s harsh policies, which are driven by the president’s extreme rhetoric and distorted assessments of the migrant population,” Kevin Landy, the head of ICE’s Office of Detention Policy and Planning during the Obama administration, told BuzzFeed.
Two weeks ago, the total stood at more than 49,000 detained migrants, according to BuzzFeed. In March, The Daily Beast reported the total surpassed 50,000 for the first time ever.
Earlier this year, ICE asked for 52,000 detention beds, but in February, Congress limited the agency to an average daily population of 45,000 until the end of fiscal 2019.
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, a Texas nonprofit that offers free and low-cost legal services to immigrants and refugees, was one of many to condemn the announcement on Twitter.
52,000 people. This is a new record. ICE imprisoning a record number of migrants.— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) May 20, 2019
No one should be imprisoned for seeking asylum. https://t.co/jkULro33jM