In June, Bloomberg reported that 8.4 million home renters were behind in their rent and millions more were behind in their mortgage payments. In July, Business Insider reported that 42% of Americans were “struggling financially.” But as government officials watched those numbers increase in recent months, the Biden administration authorized the issuance of 255,602 smartphones to illegal immigrants.
The Department of Homeland Security issued the phones.
A report posted on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website noted that these phones cost the American taxpayer $245,377 per day or almost $90 million a year.
The Department of Homeland Security argues the cost is justified as the iPhones are trackable and can be used to monitor the whereabouts of individuals who do not appear for mandated hearings. However, some have noted that though the phones are trackable, they are also sellable.
The Epoch Times reported that “ICE has failed to provide any data on the compliance rate of the smartphone program or on how many aliens have absconded from it.”
According to a Congressional Research Service report, ICE Agents ordered overwhelmed border workers to begin processing illegal aliens under a newly created “alternatives to detention” (ATD) program. This program, according to the Epoch Times report, is acting “as a workaround of the legal requirement to detain illegal aliens.”
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, ATD protocols can be used on a “case-by-case basis” and for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”
Further, ATD provisions allow “foreign nationals who may not otherwise be admissible to the country under the immigration laws” to live and work in the United States temporarily “without being formally admitted to the country and without having a set pathway to a permanent immigration status.”
In July, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said that a lack of consequences for illegal entry into America is a significant driver of the border crisis:
“In my experience, we have seen increases when there are no consequences,” Ortiz said on July 28 during a deposition for a lawsuit against the federal government brought by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.
Ortiz added that if Biden administration policies do not change, America will continue to see the border situation worsen.
The Customs and Border Protection office reports that the number of arrests at the southern border has exceeded 2 million this year.
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