Click the Link Indeed

A few days ago Kevin had a post on how you should always click the link. Today, he has a post on how gasp 1,700 immigrants have to wear electronic monitoring anklelets that tracks these people. So I click the link…ahhh TalkLeft. But low and behold there is another link to a 2003 DoJ Report [PDF]. So I click that link. And what do we see in the Executive Digest? How about this,

Each year, millions of aliens attempt to enter the United States without proper documentation, or enter legally but overstay or violate their visas.

So we see it isn’t immigrants in general, but those who are to be deported and are not detained. Of the non-detained illegal immigrants who are to be deported, only 11% of these people are deported.

So to summarize here. Kevin’s post is misleading. The TalkLeft post is misleading. The anklets are part of a pilot program for keeping track of aliens who have been ordered to leave the U.S., who unless detained we’d expect about 90% to disappear.

Oh yeah, and Kevin can’t follow his own advice.

Update: TalkLaft maintains this program is not for immigrants who are in the middle of removal proceedings. I find this claim interesting considering that in the first link we have this from the sidebar comment,

Sarah Barry fled Liberia’s civil war in the early 1990s. She’s now awaiting a decision on her appeal of a government deportation order.–emphasis added

Further on the very same page is this link to the Vera Institute of Justice. From the Executive Summary,

In 1996, the Immigration and Naturalization Service asked Vera to establish a supervised release project for people in removal proceedings in New York City….

In 1996 the Immigration and Naturalization Service asked the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit organization with experience implementing demonstration projects that promote just practices in government, to establish a supervised release project for people in removal proceedings in New York City.

Now not everybody is the same when they are in a removal proceeding. But these are all individuals who are likely to disappear at the first chance they get. Many are seeking asylum (i.e. they fear something bad happening to them if they go back), are criminals, are illegal immigrants, etc.

The NPR article does make it sound like the Dept. of Homeland Security is grabbing random immigrants, but the other documents just don’t support this conclusion.

Update: Also in the trackbacks Michael Hussey points to an AP article on this.

The monitoring devices were assigned to “low-risk, nonviolent alien offenders,” said agency spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez. “We hope to use these devices to release nonviolent aliens into the community while still ensuring their appearance in court as required.”

That doesn’t sound like any old random immigrant to me, but hey maybe I’m wrong.

Here is a Washington Times article on this (via ParaPundit).

Illegal immigrants awaiting deportation hearings are being monitored by electronic ankle bracelets under a federal pilot program that is expected to relieve prison overcrowding nationwide and save taxpayers millions of dollars.

The Detroit Free Press also has an article on the use of ankle bracelets to monitor immigrants who are at high risk of disappearing into the population and who are low risk.

Using Michigan as a test site, the federal government is quietly rolling out a national plan to put electronic tethers on illegal immigrants — easing overcrowding in jails and allowing closer monitoring of immigrants who might otherwise skip court hearings or deportation proceedings.

And the height of irony! A TalkLeft post that notes the initial plan to jail these people and…oh this is good…that the better alternative is….are you ready…ankle bracelets. You had to see that coming. What really amusing are the comments by kdog over at TalkLeft. On one hand house arrest is good, on the other it is bad.

This page at Human Rights First also seems to be talking about the progrma the NPR article is discussing in that it deals with a pilot program in 8 cities. However, this is a much more detailed report and notes once again that these are people in the middle or removal proceedings.

I think this is enough support for my take on this issue. TalkLeft is wrong.

FILED UNDER: US Politics
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. TalkLeft says:

    You are totally wrong. If you bothered to read the source article in my post, you would see that the program under which 1,700 are wearing ankle bracelets is designed for immigrants who are applying to remain in the country–not those ordered deported.

    The Department of Homeland Security is experimenting with a controversial new method to keep better track of immigrants who are applying to remain in the United States. It is requiring aliens in eight cities to wear electronic monitors 24 hours a day.

    The ankle bracelets are the same monitors that some rapists and other convicted criminals have to wear on parole. But the government’s pilot project is putting monitors on aliens who have never been accused of a crime.

    So far, the Department of Homeland Security has put electronic monitors on more than 1,700 immigrants.

  2. Ankle Bracelets for Law- Abiding Immigrants
    Homeland Security is requiring immigrants in 8 cities who are in the process of applying for residency to wear electronic monitoring ankle bracelets 24/7. These people have never been accused of a crime. There are 1,700 of them to date….

  3. bryan says:

    This program was part of an NPR story today:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4519090

    I find it hard to support such a program – unless the only other option is prison.

  4. rowrbazzle says:

    OTB- you can take your foot out of your mouth now.

  5. tc says:

    OTB doesn’t have to, it’s TalkLeft that has the foot in mouth. On the NPR page, there’s an “Alternatives to Anklets” link from the Vera Institute:

    “In 1996, the Immigration and Naturalization Service asked Vera to establish a supervised release project for people in removal proceedings in New York City.”

    http://www.vera.org/publications/publications_5.asp?publication_id=12

  6. Steve says:

    I did read the source article, did you?

    Sarah Barry fled Liberia’s civil war in the early 1990s. She’s now awaiting a decision on her appeal of a government deportation order.–emphasis added

    Sure some of the people will be allowed to stay, I’m sure and probably have the anklets removed.

    It is funny how some on the Left decry INS and HS failure to monitor aliens who have temporary visas then there is this kind of criticism of a program to monitor people in removal proceedings.

  7. bryan says:

    But these are all individuals who are likely to disappear at the first chance they get. Many are seeking asylum (i.e. they fear something bad happening to them if they go back), are criminals, are illegal immigrants, etc.

    Actually, that’s a claim without backing. If they are *appealing* a deportation order, they are hardly *illegal,* considering they are participating in the *legal* process. The particular individual in the NPR piece was neither a criminal, nor an illegal, nor a flight risk (since he owns a home and is employed as an assistant manager of a restaurant).

    Your justification sounds more lame the farther you dig.

    And this is as a social conservative.

  8. Steve says:

    bryan,

    I didn’t claim they were all illegal aliens. I think you need to do something about that reading comprehension problem.

    Oh and TalkLeft endorsed the ankle bracelets not too long ago. See the link in the second update.

    Don’t you just love the irony?

  9. Steve says:

    By the way bryan if you actually take the time to…you know…read my post you’ll see I’m not advocating for or against this policy. What I am pointing out is that Drum and Merrit have presented a distorted picture of this program.

  10. bryan says:

    Again, I’ll overlook the obvious snark about “reading comprehension” to point out that these are not *illegal* aliens. Indeed, it seems that the Washington Times is engaging in semantics here. After all, immigrants who are here and applying for asylum are not *illegal* ESPECIALLY if they are going through all the b.s. hoops that go into *appealing* a deportation order.

    The NPR program also pointed out that the statistics that “85-90 percent” of the aliens *fled* is a false statistic. What the report actually said was that those aliens were unaccounted for, whether through bureaucratic bungling (never heard of that with the INS, eh steve?) or through flight. The fact of the matter is that no one knows how many were *flight risks* and how many just slipped through the cracks.

    You again failed to address the individual who was profiled in the NPR piece, who had to wear a bracelet after MISSING A MID-DAY CHECKUP BECAUSE HE WAS IN A LEGITIMATE BUSINESS MEETING!

    Again, I have no problem with deporting *illegal* aliens, building 20 foot walls at the borders to keep out terrorists, etc., but this doesn’t sound like that at all.

  11. bryan says:

    BTW, just for the record, I don’t think these ankle bracelets are justified for low-risk aliens.

  12. TalkLeft says:

    Sidebar articles are not the source article. They did not even relate to this particular monitoring program now in effect in 8 cities on 1,700 immigrants. The source article referenced in TalkLeft said exactly what I said it did–that these 1700 had not been charged with crimes and are awaiting action on petitions to remain in the U.S.

  13. Steve says:

    Bryan,

    Where did I say that they were all illegal immigrants? (Hint: I didn’t.) So this issue of what is and is not an illegal immigrant is a strawman and a red herring. Finally, you are pretty much accepting my claims that these people are not your average run of the mill immigrant.

    Further your focusing on a single individual is misleading. Sure, some of teh people in this kind of a situation do not “disappear”. I’ve admitted to this fact. So pointing it out as if it is some sort of argument against what I have written is just incoherent nonsense. This is like noticing a head outcome from flipping a coin 100 times and then saying the coin only comes up heads.

    Sidebar articles are not the source article. They did not even relate to this particular monitoring program now in effect in 8 cities on 1,700 immigrants.

    How do you know Jeralyn? Do you have a secret source you aren’t sharing with us? Have you called somebody or are you just making stuff up to fit your position?

    The source article referenced in TalkLeft said exactly what I said it did—that these 1700 had not been charged with crimes and are awaiting action on petitions to remain in the U.S.

    Yes, and further digging at the link you provided and a few minutes googling suggests quite strongly that most if not all of them are in the middle of removal procedings. If you don’t know for sure they aren’t and given all the other evidence suggesting this is what the program is, then you should have the integrity to present such information and not hide behind rhetorical bravo sierra.

  14. Steve says:

    Sidebar articles are not the source article.

    Translation: You can only read that part of the link I want you to read, and nothing else.

  15. Myopic Zeal says:

    DHS: Putting Ankle Bracelets on 1,700 Immigrants
    NPR:

    The Department of Homeland Security is experimenting with a controversial new method to keep better track of immigrants who are applying to remain in the United States. It is requiring aliens in eight cities to wear electronic monitors 24 hour…

  16. The Agitator says:

    Not a Police State
    The Dept. of Homeland Security has ordered legal, non-criminal immigrants in eight U.S. cities to wear electronic ankle bracelets for…

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