But migrant advocacy groups say ICE Air is an example of how tougher immigration enforcement - from detention to tracking to removal - enriches private companies.
‘The way you would save money on ICE Air is by deporting fewer people, not by privatizing the industry,’ said Bob Libal, director of Grassroots Leadership, which opposes immigration detention.
‘ICE is a largely privatized agency,’ Libal said. ‘In many ways, it's been captured by the industries that profit from deportation and detention.’
In November 2018, the Associated Press observed a deportation flight being loaded at a private terminal of Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.
The Boeing 737 had no markings suggesting it was a deportation flight.