ICE AORs in Texas Lead in Use of GPS Technology for Monitoring Migrants in the Alternatives to Detention Program
(11 Dec 2023) According to the latest detention data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a total of 15,994 migrants were monitored using GPS monitor technology on ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program. As previously reported, some GPS devices are wrist-worn while many are placed on the ankle. The Areas of Responsibility (AOR) based in the state of Texas collectively lead in the use of this technology, monitoring 9,887 individuals, or 61.8 percent of all GPS-monitored migrants enrolled in ATD across the United States. Nationally, GPS technology is most utilized in San Antonio AOR (4,825), Harlingen AOR (2,200), and El Paso AOR (1,863).

Despite the proportionately frequent use of GPS ankle monitors in Texas-based AORs, the smartphone app SmartLINK remains the most highly used technology for the ATD program nationally, with a total of 167,156 monitored using this system. In order, San Francisco AOR (16,512), Chicago AOR (13,267), and Miami AOR (12,924) lead in the use of SmartLINK technology.

A total of 1,280 individuals are monitored simultaneously by both GPS and SmartLINK under what ICE describes as Dual Technology. Harlingen AOR (209) and Phoenix AOR (130) lead in the use of Dual Technology monitoring.

ICE's AORs are geographic zones of operations, each with their own ICE regional office. A map of ICE's AORs is available at ICE's website online.

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

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 36,755 in ICE detention according to data current as of December 3, 2023.

  • 24,843 out of 36,755—or 67.6%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of December 3, 2023. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.

  • ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people at the beginning of FY 2024, according to data current as of November 27, 2023.

  • In November 2023, ICE arrested 6,732 and CBP arrested 10,910 of the 17,642 people booked into detention by ICE.

  • South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees at the beginning of FY 2024, averaging 2,022 per day (as of November 2023).

  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 191,212 families and single individuals, according to data current as of December 2, 2023.

  • San Francisco's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of December 2, 2023.

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

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