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October 11, 2019Washington, DC, United StatesStatement

ICE statement on California AB32 restricting immigration detention facilities in the state

ICE legal staff are currently reviewing the signing into law of California AB32 by the state’s governor. However, the idea that a state law can bind the hands of a federal law enforcement agency managing a national network of detention facilities is simply false.

If this law takes effect, ICE would simply have to transfer individuals a greater distance from their arrest location to other facilities outside the state. Thus, the impact would be felt by residents of California who would be forced to travel greater distances to visit friends and family in custody, and not by ICE.

ICE maintains that cooperation with local officials, and local communities, is an indispensable component of public safety. Policy makers who strive to make it more difficult to remove dangerous criminal aliens, and who aim to stop the cooperation of local officials and business partners, harm the very communities whose welfare they have sworn to protect.

California ICE Detention Facilities

  • Adelanto ICE Processing Center, Adelanto (ADP: Approximately 1,700)
  • Imperial Regional Detention Facility, Calexico (ADP: Approximately 675)
  • Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center, Bakersfield (ADP: Approximately 370)
  • Otay Mesa Detention Center, San Diego (ADP: Approximately 960)

ICE Detention Management


  • ICE manages a national network of detention facilities. This will not affect the amount of individuals detained or kept in custody. Rather, it will create a greater burden on the loved ones of those detained. The impact would NOT be felt by ICE, but by California residents.
  • For context: at present ICE has roughly 52k individuals in custody as of today. CA has about 4,000 beds. Even a state as populous as California represents less than 10% of agency’s detention capacity.
  • We flex and adapt based on operational needs. Just this year in state of LA alone, we have brought on board about 7,500 beds due to the surge in Southwest border arrivals. This is almost double the total amount of beds in California – showing how adaptable our agency is.