Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Dept. of Homeland Security Slaps Anklets on Asylum Seekers

Via NPR:
The Department of Homeland Security is experimenting with a controversial new method to keep better track of immigrants awaiting appeals on their applications to remain in the United States. It is requiring aliens in eight cities to wear electronic monitors 24 hours a day.

The ankle bracelets are the same monitors that some rapists and other convicted criminals have to wear on parole. But the government's pilot project is putting monitors on aliens who have never been accused of a crime.

So far, the Department of Homeland Security has put electronic monitors on more than 1,700 immigrants.

I listened to the story during my morning commute, and there was more detail. For example, the correspondent, Daniel Zwerdling, spoke with an immigrant who is currently wearing one of these anklets. Unfortunately, his name escapes me, but I was amazed to find out what he is enduring for this pilot program:
  • He is forced to observe a curfew. He must be home every evening by 6:00pm and he cannot leave the house until the next morning (6:00am? 9:00am? I cannot recall when the curfew is over).
  • During the curfew, he is effectively under house arrest -- he cannot go to the market for a quick purchase, he cannot go out to dinner, he cannot visit a friend or family member to celebrate a birthday. If he steps out, the anklet will alert the authorities, and he will be in violation of ... well, I guess it is a form of parole.
  • During the day, he must meet -- in person -- with someone from the Dept. of Homeland Security. This meeting cannot be changed. Although the gentleman in question is actually an assistant manager at a restaurant, he could not change the DHS meeting to work around an important meeting at the restaurant -- even after his boss called and made the request.
The above link will give you access to the audio, which will be available until after 10:00am EST today. It's worth a quick listen, if only because I failed to remember so many details and do not have access to the recording right now.

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