AILA Blog

ICE and Ankle Bracelets–Better Than No Detention at All?

ICE DRO (Detention and Removal Officers) were trolling the Immigration Courtrooms this week in Atlanta looking for respondents who were appearing for their hearings, but whom had previously not been detained by ICE, and thus had no bond or restraints on their liberty. You ask, what would ICE be doing looking for people who actually appeared at their immigration court hearing? They would slap Ankle Bracelets on them!

Yes, you heard me right. The people MOST likely to appear for future hearings are being placed under ICE supervision, restraining their liberty AND costing the American Taxpayers X dollars a day. Lest you think this is ridiculous, read this next part. Apparently, ICE in Atlanta (other cities have reported this same type of activity) have contracted with a private company to supply the “anklets” and to do the monitoring! And you thought outsourcing ended with the Bush Administration!

The officer administering the program (who was very polite and respectful) told one of our members in Atlanta that this program targets non-lawful permanent residents, who do not have a bond (e.g., were free), and are in pre-final order status (in removal proceedings), even those with no criminal history and with relief available.

Now, here is the kicker. The program only works within about 50 miles from Atlanta, so respondents who live outside that radius are not tagged with the “anklet.” While there are certainly (somewhere) more ridiculous, outrageous and stupid programs out there, this new “ankle bracelet” monitoring program of people actually showing up for their hears is more than wasteful, it is inhumane and demeaning.

Secretary Napolitano, do you know about this? Mr. Morton, do you know about this? Don’t you think that limiting the freedom of and spending money to monitor people who actually show up to immigration court is nothing short of stupid?

by Charles Kuck