Wednesday, January 28, 2015

No Alternative: Ankle Monitors Expand the Reach of Immigration Detention

ICE's "Alternatives to Detention" program has subjected almost 20,000 immigrants to wearing electronic "shackles" throughout their deportation proceedings.

By Kyle Barron and Cinthya Santos Briones, NACLA
January 6, 2015

A month after having left her community of Roatán, on the Atlantic coast of Honduras, Adriana Colón arrived to the United States with her seven-year-old son José. She comes from one of the 54 Garífuna Honduran communities of indigenous and African descent living throughout Central America. Like many single mothers from the Garífuna community, she is part of a recent wave of migration that has left, fleeing the devastating sea of violence and marginalization that has swept through her country in recent decades. Presently, many Garífuna communities in Honduras are now facing a territorial crisis some see as the result of “Charter Cities” or tourist development that has come ashore in recent times, displacing people from their ancestral land through political and business pressure.

As soon as she arrived in New York City, Colón had an order to report to the Immigration Enforcement and Customs (ICE) building in downtown Manhattan. Colón walked with uncertainty into the looming 41-story building, past bulking DHS agents with rifles and body armor. “When I reported in, I didn’t have any idea what was going to happen to me,” explained Colón. Once in front of immigration officials, they placed an electronic monitor around her ankle for the misdemeanor of crossing the U.S. border without inspection. This ankle monitor program is increasingly seen as one that extends the surveillance and restriction of movement already established in immigration detention centers directly to people’s homes.[...]

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