The government is providing some illegal immigrant families with smartphones to temporarily use as they travel throughout the United States to their “destination” cities.
GEO Care, a federal contractor, has started loaning smartphones to certain illegal immigrant families enrolled in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Family Case Management Program.
The FCMP is an alternative to detention that pairs illegal immigrants with social workers who help them get their footing in cities across the U.S. — including assisting the new arrivals with accessing housing, education, medical services and legal assistance — while they await immigration hearings.
The Obama administration has billed the program as a way to ensure the illegal immigrant families show up for their immigration hearings.
“Case managers and others will work with families to ensure they are knowledgeable of the immigration process, and understand their rights and obligations. With the correct information, families will be empowered to participate in the immigration process,” ICE spokesman Richard Rocha explained in a statement to Breitbart News.
As part of the program, GEO Care has started to provided smartphones, on a limited bases, to illegal immigrant family “heads of household” to use as they travel from their detention facilities in South Texas their destination cities.
Once at their destination cities the illegal immigrant families are expected to return the smartphones to their caseworkers. The phones are then returned to South Texas. The Los Angeles Times first reported on the smartphone system Thursday.
According to ICE, GEO Care has about 50 phones that are expected to be loaned — on a limited bases — to illegal immigrant families to help with their travels. So far about 25 have been distributed.
The phones are said to be reserved for the more vulnerable illegal immigrant families — such as those with small children, medical needs, and speakers of indigenous languages.
The cost of the phones is assumed in GEO Care’s $11 million dollar federal contract.
The program comes amid an ongoing surge of Central American families and unaccompanied minors illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.