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April 24, 2023Washington, DC, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE begins testing wrist-worn GPS monitoring technology

Part of ongoing modernization efforts

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) began limited testing of a wrist-worn GPS monitoring device as part of ongoing efforts to provide additional technology in the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) suite of options. The technology demonstration will begin with a limited deployment in Denver to test feasibility in an operational setting.

“ERO is committed to continuously developing and modernizing the tools and technologies to enhance how deportation officers uphold U.S. immigration laws,” said ERO Executive Associate Director Corey A. Price. “These wrist-worn GPS monitoring devices would supplement existing ATD capabilities for noncitizens who qualify for the non-detained docket in a less obtrusive manner, increasing compliance for participants moving through the immigration process.”

The technology provides GPS location monitoring, facial matching, and messaging functionalities. The device leverages technology similar to a consumer smartwatch, but it cannot be used for any function beyond compliance with immigration-related activities.

ATD provides for supervision over eligible adult noncitizens on the non-detained docket using case management services while leveraging the use of different monitoring technologies. Noncitizens who are placed in ATD have undergone screening and vetting for public safety risks and are subject to varying levels of reporting and monitoring requirements, as appropriate. ATD effectively increases court appearance rates, compliance with release conditions, and helps participants understand and meet their immigration obligations. Those who do not report or otherwise comply with the conditions of their release are subject to arrest and potential removal.