Detention Centers > Ankle Bracelets

Sen. Bob Menendez said Wednesday that immigration detention centers should only be used to hold criminal illegal aliens and that asylum seekers ought to be allowed to await immigration hearings from the interior of the country.

But his idea defeats the point of detention centers for a couple reasons.

First, any person who arrives at the border seeking refugee status or has been apprehended after illegally entering the country is entitled to a court hearing by a judge who will determine whether he or she has a legitimate claim to entry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe point of detaining these people is to give a judge the opportunity to make that decision because the Border Patrol, among other concerns, cannot simply screen an individual to determine if he or she has a criminal history in another country (though that is only one of the reasons an individual is detained). Menendez failed to explain how he would determine if someone is a criminal alien.

Second, Menendez called for the release of all current detainees and a stop to the practice of holding incoming aliens. Instead, he would implement an ankle bracelet tracking process to ensure aliens show up to their court dates.

However, releasing aliens gives individuals the ability to disappear. In fact, 84 percent of adults who arrived at the border with children last year were not detained and entrusted with later showing up for their immigration hearings, but never did.

Still, Menendez believes letting tens of thousands of aliens loose could be managed by simply issuing each person an ankle bracelet.

“The bottom line,” Menendez said, “is that there is a way to ensure their appearance at a hearing that doesn’t involve detention. There are monitoring systems, such as ankle bracelets.”

But the rate of showing for court dates would be much higher if we detained every person seeking to enter the U.S. without a visa.

That’s why we must process foreigners who show up at our border to determine if they have a credible asylum claim to pursue. That process must include retaining them and hearing their cases as soon as possible.


  1. avatar joeyinwi says:

    we can give them Obama phone with tracking devices and text them about court hearings and if they don’t show, then they lose by default. then track them and send them home automatically. they are all given food stamps, they can be located by that. they send their kids to school. can find them that way. we can lure them to a place in order for them to receive benefits. there are lots of ways to keep track. if they go missing, then they lose everything.

  2. avatar Ken Stelter says:

    Menendez says detention centers are only for criminals – well round up 11 million + Criminal Illegal Immigrants – if they overstayed their visa or if they crossed the border and didn’t have entry papers – they broke the law, in fact numerous laws then you get into fraudulent identifiication papers and Social Securiity Cards, welfare fraud and income tax evasion. They are criminals and running free all over the Country. WE have immigration laws – for
    God sakes enforce them.

  3. avatar Valerie Clark says:

    Does he even know how much ankle bracelets cost? They should be promptly deported without delay. Why waste money on hearings for known criminals?

  4. avatar Kyle says:

    Like many of his demented Democratic colleagues, Menendez has been pandering to long and lacks any rational intelligence on all matters of illegal immigration.

  5. The Open Border Pundits

    Treat the Constitution like its Toilet Paper. They make up immigration enforcement rules with chalk on a blackboard and erase and change them at will.

  6. avatar Kurt says:

    It’s hard to feel sympathy for people who are being voluntarily. Many of these people sought out the border patrol, and then presented themselves – for detention. They said “Please detain me.’ So I don’t get that.

    One would think that Sen. Menendez’s proposal would be driven by the need to improve the attendance rate of aliens at their court hearings. Currently, it is like 16%.

    There should be some metrics put in place to measure any improvement in court attendance rates, as part of Menendez’s bill. Just say.


  1. […] aliens who fail to appear for the hearing on whether they will be deported or allowed to stay. To try to deal with this continuing problem, the authorities have begun requiring ankle monitors for…. This is a fairly new development and its success is not yet […]