Fox News personalities are hyping fears that a supervised release of undocumented immigrants will lead to more crime. But the immigrants affected by this policy are still subject to deportation and face restrictions such as checking in with authorities and wearing ankle monitoring bracelets.
ICE Releases Immigrants From Detention Centers To "Supervised Release" In Response To Looming Spending Cuts
ICE: Immigrants Sent On Supervised Release "To Make Best Use Of Our Limited Detention Resources In The Current Fiscal Climate." In response to pressure from the looming sequestration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is working to contain detention costs through a plan to release low-risk undocumented immigrants from detention facilities. Huffington Post immigration reporter Elise Foley noted that alternatives to continued detention, "including ankle bracelets and parole, are far cheaper" than keeping undocumented immigrants in a detention facility. Foley included the following statement from ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen:
In order to make the best use of our limited detention resources in the current fiscal climate and to manage our detention population under current congressionally mandated levels, ICE has directed field offices to review the detained population to ensure it is in line with available funding. [The Huffington Post, 2/25/13]
Fox News Suggests Released Immigrants Will Commit Crimes
Fox's Kilmeade On Supervised Release Of Undocumented Immigrants: ICE "Let Them Loose In Arizona." Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said that due to budget constraints, ICE "felt they had no choice but to let them loose in Arizona." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/27/13]
Fox's Carlson: "What Happens If One Of These Released Illegals Does Something Illegal?" Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson similarly ignored the specifics of the ICE decision, choosing to focus on potential repercussions and hype accusations of budgetary fear mongering:
CARLSON: What happens if one of these released illegals does something illegal? I mean, what if there is a crime committed as a result of this? Then what happens? I think it's a really dicey proposition here to be doing this if it is for political posturing. That's what Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer thinks. She says this is pure political posturing and the height of absurdity given that the releases are being granted before the federal sequestration cuts have even gone into effect. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/27/13]
Fox's La Jeunesse: Released Immigrants May Disappear. Fox correspondent William La Jeunesse suggested that the released immigrants were likely to disappear under supervised release:
LA JEUNESSE: The Obama administration is releasing an untold number of illegal immigrants and criminal aliens from jails around the country. They are basically, ICE currently holds around 32,000 illegal immigrants and noncitizens in jails. The agency refuses to say how many will be released, where, and by what criteria. But in Arizona, 300 who are awaiting deportation for crimes are already out.
What the cops and deputies worry about of course is these felons who are on the loose, they have no family, or money, will recommit crimes and then disappear.
If history is any guide, not everyone is going to show up, and if you can't afford to hold them in jail, you definitely can't afford to go find them. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 2/27/13]
Immigrants Under Supervised Release Have "Strict Reporting Schedule" To Authorities, Still Face Deportation
LA Times: ICE Policy Keeps Released Undocumented Immigrants In Removal Proceedings. The Los Angeles Times reported the released immigrants' cases "continue to proceed in court." The story included the following statement from ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christiansen: "All of these individuals remain in removal proceedings. Priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety." [Los Angeles Times, 2/26/13]
NY Times: Policy Requires "Strict Reporting Schedule" and Possible Electric Monitoring Bracelets. The New York Times reported that the move toward "supervised release" does nothing to halt deportation proceedings and comes with reporting requirements:
Under supervised release, defendants in immigration cases have to adhere to a strict reporting schedule that might include attending appointments at a regional immigration office as well as wearing electronic monitoring bracelets, officials said. [The New York Times, 2/26/12]
Human Rights First: Vast Majority Of Immigrants In Alternative-To-Detention Programs Report To Court Hearings. The New York Times reported that the human rights advocacy group Human Rights First says statistics show that more than 9 in 10 immigrants in alternative-to-detention programs show up to deportation hearings:
Human Rights First, another advocacy group in New York, which has been pressing for reform of the immigration detention system, said that 96 percent of immigrants enrolled in ICE's alternatives-to-detention program attended their final hearing in 2011. That figure was up from the year before, in which 93 percent attended their final court hearings, said the group, citing statistics provided by B.I., a private contractor that provides monitoring and supervision services to ICE. [The New York Times, 2/26/12]