The Intensive Supervision of Appearance Program (ISAP) is a monitoring program for immigrants in deportation proceedings who have been released from detention. The goal of the program is to avoid detention and allow immigrants to live with their families and continue working while their deportation proceedings are pending. Since deportation proceedings tend to be quite lengthy, and often last years, ISAP can be a good alternative to detention for immigrants with families and community ties in the U.S.
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As of February, 2014, over 22,000 immigrants were enrolled in ISAP, at a cost of about $90 million. Government contractors often carry out ISAP monitoring, which may involve a combination of nightly curfews, electronic monitoring devices such as GPS ankle bracelets and voice recognition software for telephone-based reporting, and intensive case management sessions. ISAP is designed for immigrants who are not a threat to public safety or national security but are at a higher risk for committing criminal acts or failing to appear at future immigration hearings or appointments as scheduled.
ISAP has not been a well-maintained program, in that many of its participants seem to go unmonitored and many who violate the program’s rules never are rearrested by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Although an estimated 5,000 immigrants absconded from ISAP or committed other crimes over the three-year period from 2010 to 2012, ICE often takes no action against these immigrants, primarily due to the lack of resources of ICE field offices to handle the rearrests of these individuals, as well as the inability to sustain such case-intensive monitoring services.
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