Number of Nepalis Detained at the U.S. Border Skyrocketed by 152% in 2022 and 121% in 2023 Compared to 2021

Data released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shows an increase in Nepali citizens attempting unauthorized entry into the United States from the Mexican border.

In fiscal year 2023, ICE transferred 824 Nepali citizens to detention facilities after their arrest by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the border. While the number of detentions in fiscal year 2023 (824) was lower than in 2022 (941), it represents a substantial increase compared to 2021 (373).

In 2022, detentions jumped by a substantial 152.28% compared to the previous year. Even in 2023, with a lower number of detentions than 2022, there was still a significant increase of 120.91% from the 2021 figures.

The report indicates that most detainees are individuals transferred from CBP custody following arrests at the border. This suggests a connection between increased border activity and higher detention figures. Not all of them are in ICE detention as of now. Some individuals are paroled into the US, some are still in detention while others are deported back to Nepal.

The data also sheds light on the number of Nepali citizens detained by ICE for criminal involvement. In 2023, ICE detained 11 Nepali citizens on criminal charges, a decrease from both 2022 (21) and 2021 (11). The report categorizes detentions into various groups, including those with criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, and those who violated US immigration laws.

ICE’s own arrests of Nepali citizens in 2023 reached 56, nearly double the number from 2022 (30). Of these arrests, 43 were for immigration law violations, while the remaining 11 faced criminal charges, and 2 faced other charges. In fiscal year 2022, ICE itself arrested 30 Nepali people, including 9 with criminal convictions and 21 with immigration violations. In fiscal year 2021, the total number of Nepali citizens arrested by ICE was 11.

Deportations of Nepali citizens by ICE also showed a slight fluctuation. In 2023, there were 22 deportations, compared to 28 in 2022. Additionally, ICE deported 23 Nepali citizens in FY2021, 97 Nepali citizens in FY2020, 162 Nepali citizens in FY2019, and 45 Nepali citizens in 2018.