52,000 at fenceThe New York Times has published a story about how ICE is dealing with the 52,000 immigrant children on US borders: electronic monitoring. They have begun to release some people onto monitoring programs. As, Carmen Garcia, a woman from El Salvador stated when they put an ankle bracelet on her: “Why are you putting this on? We’re not assassins. We’re not thieves. We’ve come to save our lives.”

The use of monitors is not a solution to the crisis of refugees on the Southwest border of the US.  This is a political crisis that requires a political, not  technological solution. As a 2012 report from the Rutgers Law School concluded: putting immigrants on monitors is the equivalent of detention. It is not an alternative. Such moves are being driven by the profit motives of the major private corrections companies like The GEO Group who are heavily invested in monitoring of immigrants. The GEO Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, BI Incorporated has some 7,000 immigrants awaiting adjudication on monitors right now. The 52,000 on the border currently are simply a new niche market opportunity for these private companies.  Immigration policy should not be dictated by the profit interests of companies like the GEO Group who are invested in both private detention centers and electronic monitoring. No matter what punitive solution emerges, the GEO Group makes money. Yet another reason why a political solution to a refugee crisis  is the answer, not treating these 52,000 like criminals.

To read the New York Time story click here.

To read the Rutgers Law School report, click here.