According to an internal document and to two U.S. government officials who spoke to the Daily Caller News Foundation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is introducing wristbands monitors to reduce the stigma of tracking illegal migrants released in the U.S. Interior.
ICE stated in an unreleased statement, that the program would be tested on a limited basis in Denver, as part of the Alternatives to Detention program (ATD), which uses cellphones and phone apps to track illegal immigrants who are released into the United States. Two officials told DCNF the new technology is being introduced to appease groups like the ACLU, by de-stigmatizing GPS tracking that’s typically conducted with ankle bands.
After receiving criticism from civil rights groups, ICE has decided to transition into a humane method of monitoring noncitizens enrolled with the ATD program. These organizations claimed that the GPS ankle monitors criminalized noncitizens and prevented them from living a normal life. ICE announced the use of a tracking wristband’ or ‘watch’ in order to de-stigmatize ATD Monitoring.
The agent said, “Last year, when GPS monitors and mobile phones became a problem to obtain, the wristband or watches thing was discussed.”
ICE acting chief Tae Johnston confirmed Tuesday to Congress that the agency would begin using the new technologies just weeks before an expected surge of illegal migrants at Southern Border after May 11, the date when Trump’s Title 42 expulsion order is due to expire.
“ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations) is committed to continually developing and modernizing technologies and tools to enhance the way enforcement officers enforce U.S. Immigration laws.” These GPS wristband monitoring devices would complement existing ATD capabilities in a more discreet manner, and increase compliance for participants as they move through the immigration process,” ERO Associate Executive Director Corey A. Price stated in an unpublished draft of the press release.
The DHS official confirmed that ICE is also looking to use a removable bracelet as an alternative technology to the non-removable wristband. He also said that the new initiative aims to destigmatize surveillance tools.
A recent DCNF investigation revealed that the agency relies more on a mobile application that can only pinpoint the location of illegal immigrants at certain times. It has less reliance on ankle-monitors that can pinpoint a location all the time or at least most of the times.
“With an anklet bracelet, the location of a person is tracked round the clock. Removal of the device will send an alert. The utility of these new wristwatches is seriously questioned if they can be removed. How could ICE tell if the device was being worn by a family member or a pet? To avoid both this and the alleged stigma associated with ankle bracelets, ICE needs to simply detain the majority of illegal aliens throughout the duration of their cases. This is what Jon Feere told DCNF, who was the chief of staff at ICE during the Trump Administration.
ICE did not immediately respond to a comment request.