For months we have known about the living conditions inside immigrant detention centers. Countless reports have documented that detainees lack access to adequate medical care, causing irreparable damage to detainees’ health. Many are forced to live in unsanitary environments and are provided with water that “smells[s] and tastes like a sewer.”
Due to national outrage, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency is giving detainees an alternative. Arrestees can wait for their court date in their own homes if they agree to wear ankle monitors that track their every move with GPS and avoid detention facilities. While this may seem to be a more appealing option, some are saying the bracelets are far from acceptable and put nearly every aspect of the wearer’s quality of life in jeopardy.
The Costs Of Ankle Bracelets
There are a variety of reasons that critics say ankle monitors are a dangerous, costly and unrealistic alternative to detention centers. Some of those reasons include:
- Adverse health effects – Ankle bracelets have long been known to cause health problems. The monitors can cause electrical shocks, burns, irritation, inflammation and numbness. They can also prevent wearers from undergoing diagnostic procedures such as CT scans and x-Rays.
- Poor battery life– The monitors come with removable batteries that must be charged multiple times a day. If the device is not charged, it makes a blaring noise. This results in the wearers becoming isolated and unable to lead a normal life in order to keep it charged. If the battery goes dead and the signal is lost, they could face prison time.
- Expensive –Wearing the bracelet comes at a price. Wearers often must pay fees, some of which are up to $25 a day. There are companies that pay for undocumented immigrant’s bracelets on their behalf, but only in exchange for nonrefundable fees up front and monthly fees thereafter. However, one such company now faces a class action lawsuit after it has been accused of exploiting immigrants when one client reported paying $9,000 a year in nonrefundable fees.
Detainees undoubtedly face many challenges while their immigration status hangs in the ballots. If you or your loved one is facing detention or deportation, a qualified immigration lawyer can help to inform you of your options.