Advocacy Groups Ask Biden Admin To Stop Surveilling Approximately 100,000 Immigrants

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Kaylee Greenlee Immigration and Extremism Reporter
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Immigration advocacy groups asked the Biden administration to end an Immigration and Customs Enforcement digital program surveilling approximately 100,000 immigrants, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Latino social justice movement Mijente and immigrant rights group Just Futures Law released “Ice Digital Prisons,” a report explaining how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) monitors immigrants using ankle monitors, facial recognition and digital applications, according to The Guardian.

The report asserts that the strategies currently in use “do more harm and inhibit any true progress in providing the social and economic tools for immigrants to thrive in their communities,” The Guardian reported.

The technology used by ICE criminalizes immigrants and can negatively impact their quality of life, the report claims.

The Biden administration increased funding towards digital tracking of immigrants in place of detention, allocating $440 million to the programs in 2021, The Guardian reported.

Alternatives to detention were commonly used for migrant families and migrants deemed not to be a flight or security risk during the Trump administration, freeing up detention space for others, according to the National Immigration Forum.

“But proven alternatives to detention and non-profit case management programs, which support migrants as they navigate their legal obligations, are the best way to ensure that they attend all required immigration appointments,” according to the Biden administration. “Evidence shows that these programs are highly effective and are far less expensive and punitive than detaining families.”

The alternatives to detention program includes over 96,500 individuals and President Joe Biden requested additional funding for the program to oversee up to 140,000 immigrants in 2022, The Guardian reported. (RELATED: Human Rights Groups Aggressively Criticized Trump’s Immigration Policies. Here’s What They’re Saying About The Latest Surge)

“There are so many ways ankle shackles cause physical and emotional harm for folks,” Just Futures Law immigration attorney and report editor Julie Mao said, according to The Guardian. “It’s deeply stigmatizing to have the ankle monitor, it can create sores, it must be charged often. Having that on you 24/7 creates a huge mental strain on people.”

The report asserted that some migrants participating in the alternatives to detention program were detained over in-app mistakes or technology issues and that officials used data from ankle-monitors to conduct targeted arrests, according to The Guardian.

Neither Mijente nor Just Futures Law responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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