- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Immigration and Customs Enforcement launched a program this month to use GPS-enabled ankle bracelets to track illegal immigrant families released from custody.

The “RGV 250” pilot program is Homeland Security’s possible solution for the high no-show rate of illegal immigrant families who do not report back to immigration officials once they are released into the U.S. interior.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that it received audio of a meeting between immigration activists and a DHS official who said that roughly 70 percent of illegal immigrants who are released due to lack of jail space do not circle back with immigration officials. The news organization was also shown a confidential ICE document on illegal immigrant families from the Texas’ Rio Grande Valley who were given the devices.

The new program will eventually include 250 illegal immigrant families, AP reported. If the GPS devices prove successful in getting those families to return immigration officials, then it may be expanded.

ICE spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea told AP that illegal immigrants are screened on a case-by-case basis to decide who should be detained or released.

AP reported that 68,000 illegal immigrants traveling as families along the Mexican border were arrested during the 2014 budget year that ended in September. The ICE document AP viewed says the U.S. government believes it could ultimately end up monitoring 29,000 illegal immigrants with GPS devices in 2015.

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