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ICE cracks down on migrants who skip out on tracking program

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in Colorado arrested nine immigrants who skipped the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) tracking program.

Those arrested include a 25-year-old Nicaraguan national who was arrested for possession of firearms and drugs. Some people have accumulated 50 to 100 violations of the program, which requires electronic monitoring of individuals while in the United States seeking asylum.

The way ICE monitors immigrants is through ankle or wrist monitors, phone check-ins using voice recognition, or SmartLINK, where immigrants check in via a cell phone app with facial recognition capabilities.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel Paul Martinka

An ICE spokesperson told the Post that ICE policy prevents them from releasing the identities of people arrested and detained.

At least two people enrolled in the program for about 10 years starting in 2014 were deported to Mexico.

Notable fugitives from the program include Diego Ibarra (brother of an alleged Venezuelan El Torren de Aragua gang member and immigrant charged with the murder of nursing student Laken Riley); These include Leonel Moreno, a Venezuelan “immigrant influencer” who encouraged people to “invade” the United States. As The Post previously reported, they sometimes illegally occupy citizens’ homes.

Diego Ibarra, brother of Laken Riley’s murder suspect Diego Ibarra/TikTok
Leonel Moreno Leonel Moreno/Instagram

Ybarra had his ATD ankle monitor cut off in April 2023 in Colorado, but was arrested in February 2024 while Georgia authorities were searching for his brother, who was found in an apartment complex with a fake green card. discovered.

Moreno was arrested on March 29, two years after he was arrested for entering the United States illegally in Texas, and shortly thereafter he missed an ICE check-in appointment.

According to one study, the number of immigrants enrolled in ATD programs has more than doubled since 2015. government monitoring report By Government Accountability Online.

According to April 6 ICE data, more than 183,000 immigrants are enrolled in programs under various types of supervision. According to the Transaction Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).

John Fabricatore, former director of ICE’s Denver field office, told the Post he believes the ATD program is a “failure.”

ICE Headquarters in Washington DC JHVEPhoto – Stock.adobe.com

“In Denver, for example, we’re seeing people come into the program with incredible backgrounds, including people with firearms and drug arrests and people with 25 to 100 violations.

“Our government is spending billions of dollars on a system that is not only unaccountable but also fails to protect our communities,” he said.

The federal government spends an average of about $216,000 a day on technology payments, on top of more than $2 billion in contracts. According to ICE.

ICE agent Paul Martinka

According to ICE’s website, the escape rate for people enrolled in the surveillance program is 1.3%.

But the watchdog’s report cited problems with ICE’s calculation of escape rates, arguing that many fugitives are simply listed as “undocumented.”

According to the report, there were more than 54,000 ATD fugitives nationwide between 2014 and 2020, which equates to a 17% escape rate.

Migrants attempt to climb over a fence to reach the border wall surrounded by National Guard troops in El Paso, Texas AFP (via Getty Images)

“We have a lot [absconders]And because the vast majority of them are ‘non-criminals,’ they are not subject to enforcement action,” an ICE official told the Post. Memo issued by the Biden administration in September 2021 Direct immigration authorities to limit enforcement.

John Fear, the agency’s former chief of staff, told the Post that the ATD program gives a “false sense of security that it’s better than having foreign nationals flooded across the border without any oversight.” he said.

“But in reality, very few people cross the border and enroll in ATD, and even those who do regularly abscond from the program. They cut off bracelets, they delete apps on their phones, and this happens thousands of times a year,” Mr. Feere said.

“If an alien in ATD escapes, nothing really happens. Some people mistakenly believe that ICE will immediately send a team to find the fugitive, but the alien is generally become part of the illegal alien population,” Mr. Fille said.

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