The Biden administration is planning on putting single migrant adults caught on the Mexican border under house arrest in Baltimore and Houston as a ‘cheaper’ alternative to detention

Amid record-high crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, the 120-day pilot program will begin in Houston and Baltimore, where 100 to 200 single adults placed under house arrest in each location, according to a notice sent by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and reviewed by Reuters.

The ‘home curfew’ pilot would cost just about $6-8 per day, far less than the $142 daily cost of immigration detention.

The nationwide program is expected to roll out later this year. 

Detainees would be required to be in their home from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., with exceptions for job schedules, for those with work authorization or extraordinary circumstances.

Alternatives to detention that are currently in use, such as ankle bracelets or phone monitoring, require enrollees to notify their case managers if they plan to leave the state, but do not mandate home confinement.

Nearly 180,000 undocumented immigrants are already being monitored with ankle bracelets and other traceable devices.

The new program is aimed at curbing the use of for-profit detention facilities, which President Biden promised to do away with during the campaign.

The Biden administration has already stopped holding migrant families in detention centers, turning instead to the remote tracking technology. And during the last three weeks, at least half of the single adults who attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border were released with ankle bracelets or other methods of tracking, a DHS official told Axios.  

Use of alternative-to-detention (ATD) programs has grown significantly under the Biden administration. When the president took office, only 35,000 were enrolled in such programs. Now there are roughly 180,000, according to Axios, but that number only applies to heads of household – there are likely thousands more migrants and kids accompanying enrollees.

The Biden administration plans to ask Congress for funding to place as many as 400,000 migrants this year in alternatives to detention, which could include the home curfew initiative as well as existing programs, the DHS official said.

Border agents saw a record 1.9 million encounters at the southern border in 2021, reflecting a surge since the Biden administration took office


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