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GPS Ankle Bracelets Used To Track Some Immigrants Caught at Texas-Mexico Border

Doualy Xaykaothao
U.S. Border Patrol officers monitored the Texas-Mexico border over the summer.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Alamo Drafthouse will show “The Interview” after all; “American Sniper” opens Christmas Day; Glenn Mitchell’s “Christmas Blockbuster” is back tonight on KERA; and more.

The Homeland Security Department is experimenting with a new way to track immigrant families caught crossing the border illegally and then released into the U.S.: GPS-enabled ankle bracelets. Immigration and Customs Enforcement this month launched a program to give GPS devices to some parents caught crossing the Mexican border illegally with their children in the Rio Grande Valley, The Associated Press reports. They were given the devices after being released from custody with notices to report back to immigration officials. In September, the Homeland Security Department confided to a group of immigrant advocates that about 70 percent of immigrants traveling as families failed to report back to ICE as ordered after they were released at the border. ICE says the pilot program, known as "RGV 250," started Dec. 1 and will eventually track 250 "heads of household" caught traveling with their families in the Rio Grande Valley and released into the interior of the U.S. [The Associated Press]

  • The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Richardson is among several movie theaters across the U.S. that will screen “The Interview” on Christmas. Sony had canceled the release of “The Interview,” which depicts a hapless assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Sony, which is dealing with the fallout from a massive hacking scandal, canceled the release after theaters were threatened. Some of the Alamo Drafthouse showings quickly sold out. James Wallace with Alamo Drafthouse told KERA’s Stephen Becker: “I’m sure Seth Rogen and James Franco never imagined their film being at the center of this freedom of art discussion – the two guys that made 'Pineapple Express.' But it was, and it is.” [KERA/Associated Press]

  • “American Sniper” opens Thursday. In the movie, Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle, the North Texan known as the most lethal marksman in military history. The KERA Big Screen team talks about how Clint Eastwood’s latest film captures Kyle at both his bravest and most vulnerable. Listen to the discussion here. [KERA/Stephen Becker]

  • Gov. Rick Perry will attend a conservative summit in Iowa next month. Perry is weighing a 2016 presidential bid and has made many visits to the early voting state over the past year. Jeff Marschner, a spokesman for the conservative group Citizens United, said that Perry will attend the Iowa Freedom Summit on Jan. 24 in Des Moines. The event is being sponsored by Citizens United and Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa. Perry entered the 2012 presidential race with fanfare but quickly stumbled. He finished fifth in the Iowa caucuses in early 2012 and quit the race two weeks later. Other confirmed guests for the summit include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. [Associated Press]

  • Tune in tonight for Glenn Mitchell’s “Christmas Blockbuster.” As we note on “It wouldn't be Christmas without the late Glenn Mitchell's holiday recitations, interviews, histories, oddities, trivia, and of course, holiday music!” The show airs at 8 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM or tune in online. It’s the 10th year of the Blockbuster since Glenn's death, KERA’s Eric Bright notes. The show contains pieces from the KERA archives, going back as far as 1985.
Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.