Immigrant Ankle Monitors: Are Florida Manufacturer’s Products Effective?

Immigrant Ankle Monitors: Are Florida Manufacturer’s Products Effective?
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Ankle Monitors and Immigrants

According to government officials, while the ankle monitors are effective in getting individuals to show up to immigration court, the devices are not useful once deportation proceedings begin because immigrants tear off the ankle devices and flee. Legal experts and immigration advocates, on the other hand, claim that the devices, which are typically used in criminal matters for parolees, are inhumane and inappropriate to use on a population that is seeking asylum in the U.S. Even the American Bar Association criticizes the monitors, saying it is a form of detention rather than an alternative to it.

The program was first established by Congress in 2002, though the Associated Press reports ankle monitoring grew to record levels – averaging 385,000 per year from 2008 to 2012 – under President Obama’s administration. After 2014, these numbers grew even more, when thousands of unaccompanied minors traveled to the U.S-Mexico border seeking asylum from drug, gang, and domestic violence in Central America. After President Trump stopped separating families under the government’s “zero tolerance” program earlier in 2018, the number of immigrants under ICE’s supervision tripled what it was in 2014, with 45% of those issued ankle monitors.

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Big Profits in Florida

The daily cost of releasing immigrants with ankle devices is much cheaper than the cost of keeping them in custody – $5,500 per day in custody versus $16,000 for someone released and under surveillance for years – according to AP reporting. For these reasons, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has issued thousands of these tracking devices, resulting in major profits for Boca Raton, Florida-based manufacturer GEO Group (“GEO). GEO signed a contract with the government in 2014, which has been renegotiated several times, that is due to expire in 2018. According to the AP, stock in GEO has outrun the bullish market since President Trump took the oval office in 2017.

Historically, ankle monitors were more frequently issued to women with young children, but are now being issued to all without preference. The monitoring devices have rechargeable batteries that last a maximum of six hours and must be powered at all times to track the person. If the battery dies or hits something, alarms are triggered and a voice barks orders in Spanish telling the immigrant to contact his or her case worker. This also happens when the GPS monitor registers a location outside of the user’s restricted area. Often times immigrants must stay home on assigned days for unannounced caseworker visits or must check-in personally with their case worker every so often.

Ankle Monitors and Immigrants

According to government officials, while the ankle monitors are effective in getting individuals to show up to immigration court, the devices are not useful once deportation proceedings begin because immigrants tear off the ankle devices and flee. Legal experts and immigration advocates, on the other hand, claim that the devices, which are typically used in criminal matters for parolees, are inhumane and inappropriate to use on a population that is seeking asylum in the U.S. Even the American Bar Association criticizes the monitors, saying it is a form of detention rather than an alternative to it.

The program was first established by Congress in 2002, though the Associated Press reports ankle monitoring grew to record levels – averaging 385,000 per year from 2008 to 2012 – under President Obama’s administration. After 2014, these numbers grew even more, when thousands of unaccompanied minors traveled to the U.S-Mexico border seeking asylum from drug, gang, and domestic violence in Central America. After President Trump stopped separating families under the government’s “zero tolerance” program earlier in 2018, the number of immigrants under ICE’s supervision tripled what it was in 2014, with 45% of those issued ankle monitors.

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Big Profits in Florida

The daily cost of releasing immigrants with ankle devices is much cheaper than the cost of keeping them in custody – $5,500 per day in custody versus $16,000 for someone released and under surveillance for years – according to AP reporting. For these reasons, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has issued thousands of these tracking devices, resulting in major profits for Boca Raton, Florida-based manufacturer GEO Group (“GEO). GEO signed a contract with the government in 2014, which has been renegotiated several times, that is due to expire in 2018. According to the AP, stock in GEO has outrun the bullish market since President Trump took the oval office in 2017.

Historically, ankle monitors were more frequently issued to women with young children, but are now being issued to all without preference. The monitoring devices have rechargeable batteries that last a maximum of six hours and must be powered at all times to track the person. If the battery dies or hits something, alarms are triggered and a voice barks orders in Spanish telling the immigrant to contact his or her case worker. This also happens when the GPS monitor registers a location outside of the user’s restricted area. Often times immigrants must stay home on assigned days for unannounced caseworker visits or must check-in personally with their case worker every so often.

The daily cost of releasing immigrants with ankle devices is much cheaper than the cost of keeping them in custody – $5,500 per day in custody versus $16,000…

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Immigration Help in Florida

If you or someone you know is facing immigration issues in Florida, or simply need to understand your rights and obligations under the law, contact the immigration attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns.

NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.

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