The Biden administration is planning to use “alternatives to detention” for persons entering the United States illegally, Reuters reports.
The alternatives include house arrest and the use of ankle bracelets, and monitoring via mobile phones. BI Incorporated, a subsidiary of the private prison contractor GEO Group, was chosen to administer the program, the Feb. 16 story reported.
The trial program dictates immigrants remain at their place of dwelling for 12 hours a day, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., reported Reuters.
Many adult asylum pursuers will be included among the hundreds of immigrants participating in the house arrest experimental program, which provide COVID-19 testing facilities in Houston and Baltimore, according to an ICE memo sent to lawmakers and seen by Reuters.
Immigrant rights supporters are not convinced of the efficacy of the use of ankle bracelets or other monitoring methods, arguing those tactics magnify the scrutiny of immigrants without considerably reducing detention.
“It is a step in the right direction,” Jacinta Gonzalez, a campaign coordinator for immigrant support association Mijente, said.
Reuters reported that BI Incorporated received a $2.2 billion contract in 2020 to oversee such programs, according to federal contracting records.
The Biden administration closed two immigrant detention facilities and instructed ICE to reduce who it aims to capture, focusing mainly on criminals. There are 164,000 detainees in “alternative to detention programs,” according to ICE data; however the Biden’s administration is requesting Congress funding to cover up to 400,000 asylum pursuers, Reuters reported.
“The idea was for them close down, not for them to shape shift,” concluded Gonzalez.
Conservatives have been working to reverse Biden’s decision to end Title 42 on May 23, a controversial measure that quickly expelled immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Time Magazine reported on April 25 that “Nearly 10,000 cases of violence against immigrants expelled under Title 42 have been documented since the start of the Biden Administration alone, according to Human Rights First.”