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ICE Issues Smartphones to 255,602 Illegal Border-Crossers; Cost Is $89.5 Million a Year

Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2022
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by Outside Contributor
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36 Comments

U.S. Department of Homeland Security agencies issued more than 255,000 smartphones to illegal aliens during fiscal year 2022, according to data on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

The phones are trackable and the individual is responsible for checking in with ICE on a regular basis, often by sending in a geo-tagged photo of themselves.

The cost for the 255,602 phones and their accompanying technology is $245,377 per day. Over a year, that’s $89.5 million.

The majority of the phones were issued to single adults.

ICE has failed to provide any data on the compliance rate of the smartphone program or on how many aliens have absconded from it, despite repeated requests by The Epoch Times.

ICE began issuing the smartphones within the past year as border stations became overwhelmed. Agents started processing illegal aliens under a newly created category called “Parole+ATD.” ATD is an “alternatives to detention” program, which acts as a workaround for the legal requirement to detain illegal aliens.

By law, parole is designed to be used on a “case-by-case basis” and for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit,” according to the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The status allows foreign nationals “who may not otherwise be admissible to the country under the immigration laws” to live and work in the United States temporarily “without being formally admitted to the country and without having a set pathway to a permanent immigration status,” according to a 2020 Congressional Research Service report.

Under parole status, illegal immigrants don’t have to provide Border Patrol with evidence of credible fear for asylum and are permitted entry without any preconditions, except for a quick background check in the U.S. crime database.

A Customs and Border Protection spokesman previously told The Epoch Times that the parole designation allows for overwhelmed Border Patrol stations to process and release large numbers of illegal aliens “significantly faster” than the more involved traditional system, which releases an illegal alien with a notice to appear that includes a court date for their first immigration hearing.

In addition to the smartphones, nearly 41,000 additional illegal aliens in fiscal 2022—which ended Sept. 30—were fitted with ankle monitors that have built-in GPS tracking. Almost 20,000 others were placed in another type of alternative to detention program.

‘No Consequences’

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said in July that a lack of consequences for illegal entries is a large driver of the border crisis.

“In my experience, we have seen increases when there are no consequences,” Ortiz said on July 28 during a deposition for a lawsuit against the federal government brought by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

Ortiz said that as long as the Biden administration isn’t detaining or removing most illegal immigrants, the numbers will increase.

“There is an assumption if migrant populations are told that there’s a potential that they may be released, then yes, you can see increases,” he said.

In addition, the deportation cases for tens of thousands of illegal immigrants are being dismissed before getting to court because Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials are failing to file the requisite paperwork, a recent report reveals.

One out of every six new cases (16.6 percent) is being dismissed for failure to follow due process, according to the immigration court docket tracker Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.

For the six-year period from fiscal year 2013 through fiscal 2018, fewer than 1 percent of the cases, or 1,221, were dismissed due to DHS’s failure to submit the necessary “notice to appear” paperwork. The notice includes the date of the illegal immigrant’s first court hearing.

The number of dismissals because of the same paperwork failure has increased dramatically every year since, with 47,330 cases so far in fiscal 2022 with three months of data outstanding, according to the TRAC report.

The final month of border crossing data for fiscal year 2022 is yet to be published by Customs and Border Protection, but the number of arrests just at the southern border had already hit 2 million for the year.

In total, border agents nationwide will have apprehended more than 2.5 million illegal immigrants from more than 160 countries during the year.

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Michael J
Michael J
1 year ago

Are any of these potential democrat illegals going to contribute to the nation? Oh nevermind!

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

Anyone remember Obamaphones? The massive waste of taxpayer dollars to handout, without any sort of auditing to prevent people from getting 2, 3 or more “free” cell phones, to buy votes for Democrats. This is essentially the same play, except this time with illegals to encourage them to vote in upcoming elections in whatever state they end up in.

Am I surprised by any of this? Of course not! Democrat administrations are both very consistent and very predictable. They run the same plays over and over again with very slight variations. They may call the programs something different from administration to administration, but the goal always remains the same: Getting more Democrat votes to maintain or expand power in Washington. I guarantee you no one in the federal government is using these cell phones to track the whereabouts of any of these illegals or to ensure they show up for their court hearings in 2,3 or more years.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Good use to track migrants??

Lee M
Lee M
1 year ago

Let’s see, that’s about the cost for those new IRS agents the butt-lickers are going to hire, They must love that number.

Lois
Lois
1 year ago

I can only afford a cell phone that is one step removed from a “burner.” This is an outrageous expense for a massive admission of people who were never supposed to enter. PaulE’s comments are correct.

William C Smith
William C Smith
1 year ago

Criminal distribution of confiscated public funds to facilitate an unlawful enterprise. Take names. Those who authorized these actions must be taken to account.

granky
granky
1 year ago

More evidence we live in a country run by idiots, makes me crazy.

Arlene
Arlene
1 year ago

Where’s my free phone? I’ve been paying taxes for a lot of years. Where’s mine?

PapaGrouch
PapaGrouch
1 year ago

You’re welcome.

Granny25
Granny25
1 year ago

Use all that money to finish building the wall and make sure none can climb it.

George
George
1 year ago

WTF !!!!!!!!!!! Just toss the SOB’s back over the border where they belong

Joan
Joan
1 year ago

I feel like an illegal American in my own country. These people get everything when they cross
into our country and we foot the bill for these ILLEGALS. I am very resentful. What ever happened
to LEGAL IMMIGRATION???? Vote Republican next month!!!

Ardyne
Ardyne
1 year ago

I feel that the federal government in all realms are against the Citizens of the US as more and more freebies are given to those that are allowed to illegally cross our border

Stephen V.
Stephen V.
1 year ago

Look at the bright side. A Republican administration in 2024 will have an easier time tracking them for roundup and deportation.

Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
1 year ago

Just another cost passed on to unwilling electorate without their consent! The President and Executive Branch are supposed to enforce laws, including ones they disagree with.

Joe Biden should be impeached for failure to uphold his oath of office. An open border is a clear and present danger to the security of these United States.

James P.
James P.
1 year ago

Most illegal aliens are illiterate in their native language, not to mention English.

Another in-your-face example of “Your tax dollars at work”!

Rhoda
Rhoda
1 year ago

This comment is not related to this article, it’s for AMAC editors: For the last week or more, every time I “vote up” an article, it’s not accepted. Why is that?

Ralph S
Ralph S
1 year ago

For each “illegal” alien allowed across our border, one “deep state” employee of our federal bureaucracy should be fired. Maybe then our government will actually become controlled by WE the PEOPLE!

Dave
Dave
1 year ago

Illegal Alien 1: Did you get a smart phone with a tracker app, too?
Illegal Alien 2: Oh yea.
Illegal Alien 1: I threw mine away.
Illegal Alien 2: yea, so did I.
Illegal Alien 1: Stupid Americans.
Illegal Alien 2: Oh yea.

Leroy
Leroy
1 year ago

Your tax dollars hard at work. Thanks Uncle Joe! ????

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
1 year ago

Biden does nothing for us but makes sure the non citizens that cross our border gives them everything for nothing so no wonder we have a record number coming across anyone would come here when the Biden people up in Washington will give them the world at all legal people here at our expense all the Dems will do is raise taxes to make up the difference sad time for this country time to change things in November.

Bob L.
Bob L.
1 year ago

The latest version of “Obama phones”.

Rich
Rich
1 year ago

Any phone is trackable. But anyway, I want a smart phone! Do I need to cross over the Rio-grande and come back to get one? Too bad the American people don’t know the real cost of the southern border crisis/fiasco. To many people around the world, Americans are just plain stupid.

Sioux
Sioux
1 year ago

This is bullsh__! I’m not paying taxes so ILLEGAL CRIMINALS can have a phone. We, the LEGAL Americans (born

jim pollino
jim pollino
1 year ago

Shut ice down.

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