Immigrants released wearing GPS bracelets

    Catholic Charities in the Valley

    Catholic Charities in the Valley are reporting a spike in immigrants coming through their doors this week.

    Those passing through are wearing something other immigrants before them did not, GPS monitoring bracelets.

    Sacred Heart Catholic Church tells Action 4 News volunteers have seen more than 400 immigrants pass through since Sunday.

    Those seeking a place to rest and re-fuel are once again making their journey from Central America with small children in tow, as was seen in the Rio Grande Valley over the summer.

    We had anticipated the numbers would increase through the winter months, we were told to anticipate that, spokesperson for the dioceses of Brownsville, Brenda Riojas said. Since Sunday we have had more than 400 people. More than 100 a day, 110 on Tuesday, yesterday some high numbers, so we are desperate for volunteers.

    This time though, Riojas says those being released from federal custody have ankle bracelets in addition to their notice to appear.

    "Tuesday we saw a few of the adults wearing the bracelets, and the following day most of the adults had them, Riojas said.

    When Action 4 News stopped by the church Thursday there were no immigrants wearing the bracelets present at the time but Riojas says volunteers have spoken with many of them.

    Some of them have complained it TMs a little tight, some of the women are really worried because they have to charge them every so often, and they are traveling and are worried they won TMt have a place to charge them, Riojas said.

    Action 4 News has reached out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol officials for comment regarding the monitoring devices but has yet to hear back.

    In the meantime, with the increase in immigrants, Catholic Charities is asking for more volunteers as well as winter clothing.

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