Border Patrol agents apprehend a group of migrants near downtown El Paso, Texas. (Photo by JUSTIN HAMEL/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 9:28 AM PT – Thursday, April 7, 2022
The Biden administration is giving illegal immigrants smartphones in an effort to keep tabs on them until their court date. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the move Wednesday, saying it was part of the so-called Alternatives to Detention Program, which also utilizes GPS ankle monitors and smartlink to track immigrants.
With the telephonic option, the participant’s identity is confirmed on check-in calls with a biometric voiceprint. Psaki was confronted with the issue that there’s no safeguards in place to deter immigrants from ditching the phones.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent an inquiry to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Wednesday, demanding answers for this plan to provide migrants with free phones.