Ankle monitors, nonprofits housing immigrants help keep costs off taxpayers
Thousands of federal taxpayer money could be saved when undocumented immigrants are released to local non-government groups.
Nearly every day for the last week, an average of 350 immigrants have been released to nonprofits, according to Ruben Garcia, director of Annunciation House.
Annunication House has helped house hundreds of migrant families.
Urias, a man from Guatemala, is an asylum seeker who was released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to Annunciation House.
He said he left his country because of the state it is in.
“There’s a lot of delinquency, a lot of assault, extortion. So we decided it would be best to leave,” Urias said.
Garcia said it takes a network of churches to help house all of the immigrants.
“We’re receiving hundreds of refugees every single day,” Garcia said.
Linda Rivas from Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center said the centers where immigrants are being housed rely solely on community help.
“Us as a community stepping forward, not at taxpayers’ expense. Everything that Annunciation House is doing is not costing taxpayer money,” Rivas said.
According to the 2018 ICE budget, it costs $133.99 per day to keep one adult bed in a detention facility.
If 350 immigrants are released a day, taxpayers could save more than $46,000.
Family beds in detention centers cost more than single beds. At an average daily rate of $319.37.
Annunciation House is taking in both.
Some of the adults released by ICE leave wearing ankle monitors.
“It helps them monitor the individual as to not put them in a detention facility,” Garcia said.
But it is unclear how long an immigrant can wear an ankle monitor before their case is resolved.
Garcia hopes more churches come forward to help keep more immigrants out of taxpayer-funded detention centers.
“So proud of the faith communities in the Las Cruces area and El Paso. It really says something about who we are,” Garcia said.
We contacted ICE to confirm whether or not ankle monitors come at an expense to federal taxpayers.
No one responded in the time this report aired.