Tracking program used by Jocelyn Nungaray murder suspects has expanded under Biden

Both suspects in the murder of 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray in Texas were part of a program that has seen expanded use under President Biden.

Venezuelan migrants Johan Jose Martinez-Rangel, 22, and Franklin Jose Peña Ramos, 26, were part of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s (ICE) Alternatives to Detention program, being outfitted with ankle bracelets that will monitor their movements before being released into the public.

The program seeks to quickly process migrants seeking asylum without overburdening crowded detention facilities, releasing migrants into the public with tracking devices and strict rules such as curfews and check-ins.


Jocelyn Nungaray suspects

Franklin Jose Peña Ramos, left, and Johan Jose Martinez-Rangel have been charged in the killing of Jocelyn Nungaray in Houston on Monday, June 17. (Harris County Jail)

According to the latest data from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, ICE’s use of GPS watches and GPS ankle monitors as an alternative to detaining migrants has seen continued growth. The number of migrants using GPS watches – which were rolled out in 2023 – increased to 572 in April, while the number of migrants using GPS ankle bracelets more than tripled from 5,000 in June of last year to 18,518 in April.

Martinez-Rangel and Ramos were both outfitted with GPS ankle monitors after entering the country illegally, though Martinez-Rangel was allowed to remove his device after complying with mandatory check-ins for two months. Ramos, meanwhile, was wearing his tracking bracelet at the time of the crime, only removing it himself a few days after his alleged involvement.

When reached for comment by Fox News Digital, a Houston Police Department spokesperson said the bracelet did not play a role in being able to track down the suspect’s location.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration rolled out a new program last year that expanded the use of the devices with the Family Expedited Removal Management program last year, placing certain heads of household in migrant families with GPS tracking devices instead of making the controversial move to expand the use of detention centers. The administration has also touted the program as a more speedy way to process removals from the country.


Jocelyn Nungaray, 12, was found strangled to death in a Houston creek this week. (Fox Houston courtesy of the Nungaray family)


“It’s definitely increased our family unit removals over the last nine months compared to before, so it’s been successful with that,” Thomas Giles, the ICE official running the program, told the New York Times in March.

John Sandweg, who was the acting director of ICE during the Obama administration, has also praised the program, telling the New York Times it was “what we’ve needed to do for 10 years, but on a massive scale.”

Nevertheless, it remains unclear if there are effective safeguards in place to prevent potentially dangerous migrants from entering the program and becoming a danger to public safety. The Department of Homeland Security, ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond to multiple Fox News Digital requests for comment on how well the agencies are able to check migrant backgrounds before releasing them with the devices.

Martinez-Rangel and Ramos both made their initial appearances in court this week, with the judge in the case citing their flight risk in setting the bail at $10 million for both suspects.

557a54aa ICE

They accused of luring Nungaray under a bridge in Houston, where they tied her up and eventually killed her. Both suspects are accused of capital murder in the case.


The White House did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

Get the latest updates on the ongoing border crisis from the Fox News Digital immigration hub.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top