Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is significantly misreporting the number of illegal immigrants released into the country with GPS tracking technology by nearly 600%, according to an internal document exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
ICE disclosed privately to participants of a closed-door event about the agency’s “Alternatives to Detention” Thursday, attended by ICE Director Tae Johnson along with several agency officials and non-profits, that 8,118 illegal immigrants are monitored with GPS tracking through the program as of Nov. 14. Publicly, however, ICE says on its website that 56,805 illegal immigrants are monitored by GPS as of Nov. 19.
ICE implemented the “Alternatives to Detention” program in 2004 to monitor illegal migrants released into the country using ankle monitors, GPS tracking and cell phones. (RELATED: GOP Rep Signals ICE Investigation After Bombshell DCNF Report Exposes Underreporting Of Illegal Immigrant Figures)
Former ICE Chief of Staff Jon Feere, who now serves as director of investigations at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), believes that the Biden administration is seeking to appease groups that have fought ICE detention, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which was listed as an attendee at Thursday’s event. The ACLU has a campaign on its website titled “SHUT DOWN THE ICE DETENTION MACHINE,” which encourages the public to email Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to urge ICE against any new detention contracts.
The ACLU didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The Biden administration is telling their anti-enforcement friends one thing, while telling the public something entirely different,” Feere told the DCNF.
“This massive discrepancy raises the question of whether Biden’s appointees at ICE are lying about other data points. ICE enforcement data has been at the center of litigation over the administration’s controversial policies, but have judges been misled?” Feere said.
The program given to the Thursday event’s attendees also showed that ICE underreported illegal immigrants without tracking technology by more than 18,000%, as previously reported by the DCNF. ICE disclosed to the attendees that as of Nov. 14 there are 49,459 illegal aliens that aren’t monitored with any tracking equipment, while its own website says that as of Nov. 19 there are 266.
The Biden administration continues to see record numbers of migrants illegally cross the southern border, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountering over 2.3 million in fiscal year 2022 and more than 230,000 in October.
Meanwhile, the administration attempted early on to implement policies to reduce ICE enforcement that included a 100-day moratorium on deportations, which a federal judge subsequently struck down. It also sought to limit immigration enforcement to threats to border security, national security and public safety.
The Biden administration is also scaling back its monitoring of illegal immigrants, according to Feere.
“Mayorkas is painting the picture that large numbers of aliens are being tracked with ankle bracelets, but the data shared with anti-ICE NGOs indicates they’re rapidly shrinking this program,” Feere said.
“Of course, the government routinely loses track of thousands of aliens on all forms of ATD, and it’s clear detention is critical to ensure compliance with our immigration courts,” he added.
ICE didn’t respond to a request for comment. Neither the White House nor the DHS immediately responded to requests for comment.
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