The new ICE program will put families seeking asylum under a home curfew

Families of asylum seekers who cross the U.S. border without permission will be subject to GPS monitoring and a curfew, and will be deported if they fail an initial asylum check under a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement program set to go into effect soon, an agency official said. Times on Wednesday.

Under the plan, known as the Department of Expedited Family Relocation, migrant families will be directed to appear for an initial asylum check, known as the Trusted Fear Interview, in the cities they will go to. Another new Biden administration policy would be implemented restricting asylum to those who transit a third country and do not seek protection there.

If the families fail the screening, ICE will seek to deport the family.

“There are consequences for family units,” said the ICE official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the program before it was publicly revealed. “If they are not eligible to remain in the United States, we will move them toward deportation.”

President Biden’s administration is in the midst of preparing for the end of Title 42, which allowed border agents to quickly expel immigrants under pandemic-era rules, later this week. Officials have long been concerned about an expected spike in border confrontations when the three-year policy ends.

In the coming days, ICE will put some families heading to Newark, Baltimore, Washington, and Chicago into the new FERM program. The curfew is expected to last from 11pm to 5am, and a family member will have to wear a GPS monitor, such as an ankle bracelet.

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The ICE official said that families who do not attend the shows or do not cooperate with ICE to leave the country could be picked up and detained in hotels.

“The intent is that we will tend to comply,” the official said.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration said it was considering all options for families crossing the border, including the possibility of holding families in detention centers. In recent weeks, ICE chief and later Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the government had no plans to return these detention centers to families.

We don’t have a plan to detain families. As I mentioned, we will use alternatives to detention, including some innovations in that regard, and on a case-by-case basis we will use enhanced alternatives to detention as required.

The Biden administration has increasingly relied on so-called alternatives to detention.

Immigration advocates and some Democratic politicians have criticized the expansion of an alternative to detention program, saying it is a form of surveillance and psychologically harmful.

Last year, ICE launched a pilot trial to test the home curfew approach for some immigrants.

Before the Biden administration stopped the practice of detaining families, ICE detained families in two facilities in Texas. Since then, the families have been released in the US, and the administration has placed some through expedited court proceedings.

Biden tweeted during his June 2020 presidential campaign, “Children must be released from ICE custody with their parents immediately. This is so simple, I can’t believe I have to say it: Families belong together.”

Democratic senators pushed him not to reinstate the practice after reports of it being considered.

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“We understand that your administration faces significant challenges — particularly in light of Congress’ failure to pass immigration reform — to manage the flow of asylum seekers arriving at our southern border,” the senators wrote.

However, the recent past has taught us that family detention is morally reprehensible and ineffective as an immigration management tool. We look forward to working closely with your administration on more considerate and humane responses to such challenges.”

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