Track­ing il­le­gal im­mi­grant fam­i­lies, US ap­proach


The US Home­land Se­cu­rity Depart­ment is ex­per­i­ment­ing with a new way to track im­mi­grant fam­i­lies caught cross­ing the bor­der il­le­gally and then re­leased into the U.S.: GPS-en­abled an­kle bracelets. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment (ICE) has launched a pro­gramme to give GPS de­vices to some par­ents caught cross­ing the Mex­i­can bor­der il­le­gally with their chil­dren in Texas’ Rio Grande Val­ley. In Septem­ber, the Home­land Se­cu­rity Depart­ment con­fided to a group of im­mi­grant ad­vo­cates dur­ing a con­fi­den­tial meet­ing that about 70 per cent of im­mi­grants trav­el­ling as fam­i­lies failed to re­port back to ICE as or­dered after they were re­leased at the bor­der.

The high no-show rate and a lack of jail space for im­mi­grant fam­ily mem­bers prompted the US ad­min­is­tra­tion to open a tem­po­rary fam­ily jail at the bor­der pa­trol’s train­ing academy in ru­ral New Mex­ico and con­vert a men’s jail in Texas to one that could house fam­i­lies.

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