In a December 22 letter to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), ICE responded to their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information on the non-detention program with the news, reported the Daily Caller News Foundation.
"ICE has conducted a search of the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) for records responsive to your request and no records responsive to your request were found," wrote Brian Hearn, a supervisory paralegal specialist at the agency..
TRAC assistant professor Austin Kocher shared the news on Twitter.
"ICE's response that they could no longer find records on immigrants in Alternatives to Detention (ATD) that they had previously released came as a shock, particularly after they informed us recently that they had been misleading the public for several months by releasing extremely inaccurate ATD data," he told the News Foundation.
"The agency really needs to come clean. The American public deserves to have accurate data about the ATD program," Kocher added.
The ATD program was started in 2004 to monitor the whereabouts of migrants released into the U.S. using GPS tracking devices.
The news comes soon after Congress passed the end-of-year federal spending bill, which included $20M to the Alternatives to Detention Case Management pilot program, reports Fox News.
That allocation for ICE's failed program is included in the full $1.7 trillion omnibus bill, which is set to go before President Joe Biden's desk.
Both ICE and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are tasked with enforcing immigration laws along the border while CBP runs Border Patrol and ICE deals with immigration law enforcement within the US.
There have been roughly 599,000 "gotaways" at the border in 2022, illegal aliens who fled after making it into the interior of the US.
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