More than 300,000 smartphones used to monitor illegal immigrants were given to noncitizens by the Biden administration last month, according to data collected by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.
Issuing such cellular devices to illegal immigrants is part of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement program called the Alternatives to Detention, which essentially gives the individuals access to U.S. soil before their court dates.
The smartphones, which cost taxpayers $361,218.08 per day, use facial recognition, GPS monitoring, and voice identification, according to ICE.
Jon Feere, former DHS senior adviser and director of investigations at the Center for Immigration Studies, told the Free Beacon last month that the ATD program has already proven to be a “costly failure,” noting that thousands of illegal immigrants have disappeared annually.
“And there’s no reason to think this will be any different,” Feere said. “The goal should be to quickly determine whether these individuals have a valid case, and if not, to quickly deport them.”
Instead, he said, the Department of Homeland Security is developing a massive social services program that will benefit non-governmental organizations without guaranteeing that any of those individuals would return home when ordered.
The Daily Caller reports the ATD program had 91,793 illegal immigrants enrolled in 2020. And by the fiscal year 2021, the program had 136,026 illegal immigrants.
The Post Millenial reports the number of enrollments clocks in at 316,700 — a 266% increase since President Joe Biden took office.
Ron Vitiello, former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the Free Beacon that the program is the “sort of thing popular among the left.”
“It sounds great, but the reality is that people in these programs will likely never be [deported],” Vitiello said. “There’s nothing at the end of these programs. If they don’t report in, that’s that. They’re now a fugitive.”
According to The Washington Free Beacon, a new record was set with migrant encounters at the southern border, with more than two million for the fiscal year in August. Of those encounters, approximately 1.6 million illegal immigrants have hearings scheduled who are not in detention, according to an internal ICE report on ATD programs obtained by Fox News.