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Thread: Ankle monitors lead to fewer deportations than detention: ICE

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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Ankle monitors lead to fewer deportations than detention: ICE

    by Anna Giaritelli
    | September 18, 2018 11:50 AM

    A senior U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said Tuesday that making illegal immigrants wear ankle monitors when they arrive in the U.S. is a less effective and more costly way to eventually deport them when compared to simply detaining them.

    The Alternatives to Detention program, or ATD, allowed families that are apprehended for unlawful entry and then claim asylum to be released from ICE custody into the United States. Adults are given ankle monitors under the program to ensure they show up for court dates to hear their asylum requests, and most cases are decided in at least one to two years.

    The ankle monitors were heavily used this summer when up to 10,000 families were being apprehended at the southwest border each month, which created a lack of detention space for families. But Matthew Albence, executive associate director for ICE, said this system has not been nearly as effective as detention.

    "This issue has not been effectively mitigated by the use of Alternatives to Detention, which has proved to be substantially less effective and cost-efficient in securing removals than detention," Albence said in his prepared remarks before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

    "While the cost of detention per day is higher than the cost of ATD per day, because those enrolled in the ATD program often stay enrolled for several years or more, while those subject to detention have an average length of stay of approximately 40 days, the costs of ATD outweighs the costs of detention in many cases," added Albence.

    Albence said in fiscal year 2014, ICE spent $91 million on the ankle monitoring program. That number jumped to $183 million in 2017, but Albence noted that while the spending doubled, detentions only rose slightly, from 2,157 in 2014 to 2,430 in 2017.

    He noted that this is an increase of "only 273 removals for the additional $92 million investment, and an average cost of $75,360 per removal. Had this funding been utilized for detention, based on FY 2017 averages, ICE could have removed almost ten times the number of aliens as it did via ATD."

    From FY 2014 through June 2017, 44 percent of families in the ATD program were ordered to be deported. More than half of those, 53 percent, were not at court on the day they were ordered deported for failing to meet asylum standards.

    From Oct. 1, 2017 through July, 28 percent of families released with ankle monitors have not showed up for court hearings, he said.

    Albence said there are "tens of thousands" of families and children who were released to sponsors who never showed up for their court dates and that it lacks the manpower to find all of these people even with the monitoring devices.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/n...-detention-ice
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