EXCLUSIVE: ICE Will Issue Cell Phones to Released Migrants

EXCLUSIVE: ICE Will Issue Cell Phones to Released Migrants


A law enforcement source within U.S. Customs and Border Protection says ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers are ramping up their release or “Alternatives to Detention” capabilities. Cell phones with tracking apps will eventually replace ankle monitoring bracelets, according to the source.

The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, says the phones will allow for GPS tracking and check-ins using facial recognition. The available supply of ankle bracelets will be issued until depleted–at which time the phones will circulate.

The source notes the ankle monitoring efforts have proven expensive and, in many cases, the devices are discarded. The bracelets cost between $400 and $800, depending on the model. In many cases, ERO officers are tasked with tracking and recovering the discarded devices from dumpsters. The cost of a cell phone unit is currently unknown.

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