The Biden administration will no longer hold illegal immigrant families in detention centers at the border, opting instead to use electronic tracking technology like ankle bracelets to monitor them after they are released into the US, according to a report.
There were no migrant families in Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers as of the end of last week, Axios reported, citing internal government data.
The report added that the last 100 migrant families in custody were removed or released from the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley Dec. 9 and 10.
“ICE has chosen to shift its usage of the Dilley facility to focus on single adults consistent with the administration’s goals of addressing irregular migration while supporting a system of border management that is orderly, safe and humane,” an ICE spokesperson told the outlet.
Two other smaller facilities designed for families – the Karnes County Staging Center in Texas and the Berks Family Staging Center in Pennsylvania – are also no longer housing families.
ICE has been using electronic monitoring technology — including ankle bracelets and cell phones — to keep tabs on migrants since the mid-2000s as a cheaper alternative to detention. However, the Department of Homeland Security has increasingly adopted the practice in recent years.
Approximately 150,000 migrants are now enrolled in such tracking programs, Axios reported, citing DHS figures.
That number includes single adults and family members given a tracking device — not spouses or children.
Democrats have pressured the Biden administration to adopt more humane immigration policies, but Republicans have said the lenient practices encourage migrants to illegally cross the US border.
The Biden administration has continued refusing entry to immigrants under the Title 42 coronavirus policy and has re-implemented the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy under orders from a federal court.
The policy requires asylum-seekers to wait out their court proceedings in Mexico instead of being released into the US.