Trump officials to release migrants with ankle monitors
The Trump administration is planning to release some migrant families into the United States equipped with ankle monitors after several court orders restricted the government’s ability to hold thousands of migrant families detained at the southern U.S. border.
The New York Times reports that the administration will effectively return to the “catch and release” policy which President Trump himself has condemned in the past, as federal officials struggle to find detention facilities for the thousands of migrant adults awaiting trial for illegal entry, as well as their children.
Matthew Albence, executive associate director of ICE’s enforcement and removal programs, told reporters on Tuesday that the administration had also at least temporarily ceased referring adults who arrive in the U.S. illegally with children for prosecution, adding that they will be given ankle bracelets “and released into the community.”
“Parents with children under the age of 5 are being reunited with their children and then released and enrolled into an alternative detention program,” Albence said, according to the Times.
The move by the Trump administration follows widespread outrage over the separation of thousands of children from their families as adult migrants awaited prosecution for illegal entry.
President Trump ended the practice with an executive order last month, but the administration sought to instead detain all migrant families who arrive at the border ahead of immigration proceedings.
On Monday, a federal judge refused to amend a previous court order mandating the maximum time a child can be detained under federal law, which the Trump administration argued was necessary due to backlogs in the court system.
“Defendants seek to light a match to the Flores agreement and ask this court to upend the parties’ agreement by judicial fiat,” Judge Dolly M. Gee of the Federal District Court in Los Angeles wrote, according to the Times.