Migrants released at border tracked with phones: White House

By Steven Nelson | New York Post

The White House didn’t deny Wednesday that US border officials are giving cellphones to some suspected illegal immigrants — arguing it could make them easier to track after they are released into the US even though they can be easily ditched, unlike ankle monitors.

“We need to take steps to ensure that we know where individuals are and we can track and we can check in with them,” press secretary Jen Psaki said at her daily briefing.

It’s unclear how many phones are being distributed or what models are included. Government-subsidized cellphones can become a touchy political issue — such as in 2012 when a viral video depicted a low-income woman boasting of the free “Obamaphone” she received.

Psaki claimed that the phones are a monitoring tool and are not intended as a perk for those suspected of illegally entering the country.