ICE Expands Testing of GPS Watch to Immigrants in Los Angeles
(21 Aug 2023) According to the latest data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency expanded its testing of a GPS watch called the VeriWatch to electronically monitor immigrants in Los Angeles. ICE previously announced that it would be testing the use of the watch on 50 immigrants in its Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program who were living in the Denver area. However, since the previous data on ATD data were released in mid-July, a new cohort of about 50 migrants are reportedly being monitored by the agency out of the Los Angeles office, an expansion that did not appear to come with a public announcement and may indicate further testing or a coming expansion of the use of this new technology.

Other technology used in ICE’s ATD program include GPS ankle monitors, which increased by about 1,000 in the past two weeks to a new total of 5,720 (although this is still down from over 30,000 in January 2022), SmartLINK at 179,925 (also down from nearly 300,000 in January 2023), and VoiceID at 8,105 (also down from about 15,300 in January 2023). San Francisco has re-emerged as the ICE field office with the most people monitored on ATD at 18,754.

Highlights from data updated in TRAC's Detention Quick Facts tool show that:

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 30,184 in ICE detention according to data current as of August 13, 2023.
  • 18,825 out of 30,184—or 62.4%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of August 13, 2023. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.
  • ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2023, according to data current as of August 7, 2023.
  • ICE arrested 7,680 and CBP arrested 15,117 of the 22,797 people booked into detention by ICE during July 2023.
  • South Texas ICE Processing Center in Pearsall, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2023, averaging 1,252 per day (as of August 2023).
  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 194,473 families and single individuals, according to data current as of August 12, 2023.
  • San Francisco's area office has the highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of August 12, 2023.

For more information, see TRAC's Quick Facts tools here or click here to learn more about TRAC's entire suite of immigration tools.

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