US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Faces Lawsuit Over Biometric Data Collection

By Derrick Broze

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) faces a lawsuit over the use of handheld devices used to gather biometric data during immigration raids. 

Washington D.C. – On Tuesday two organizations filed suit against the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for failing to release records related to the agency’s use of devices to gather biometric data from immigrants. Mijente, an advocacy group focused on “promoting Latinx and Chicanx organizing and movement building,” and the National Immigration Project of National Lawyers Guild are asking a federal court to force ICE and the Department of Homeland Security to release information related to the use of handheld devices used to gather biometric data from immigrants during raids.

A press release states:

Yesterday, Mijente and the National Immigration Project of National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) filed a lawsuit demanding that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reveal the information requested related to their use of mobile fingerprinting units, or biometric devices, in immigration raids and other immigration enforcement actions.

The Lawyers Guild accuses ICE and the DHS of ignoring Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests aimed at disclosing details of the raids and the devices. The suit claims that FOIA requests to the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties were due on May 3, while a response from ICE was due June 21.

The organizations state that ICE is responsible for promoting technologies with little oversight which endanger civil liberties. “The coinciding surge in immigration raids under the Trump Administration raises further alarm over whether such mobile biometric devices have adequate oversight and accountability,” the press release states. “As ICE increasingly promotes the use of such technologies, the public deserves to know the impact of their use on communities, including within immigrant communities and communities of color.”

Tania Unzueta, Mijente’s Policy Director, elaborated upon the dangers faced by immigrants.

Immigration agents are showing up at people’s doorstep, demanding they submit their bodies to scanning, and taking people into detention with little regard for due process or people’s civil rights.

The actions of ICE are not only a threat to the liberty and privacy of immigrants, but to all Americans. Even if you believe there is nothing wrong with a bit of extra screening or vetting by the federal government, you should be willing to acknowledge that these programs will eventually be expanded and used on all Americans leaving or entering the country.

In fact, back in September, Activist Post reported that attorneys with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in defense of 10 U.S. citizens and one green card holder in response to warrantless searches at the U.S. border. The warrantless searches and the efforts to build a biometric wall are both promoted as weapons in the “war against illegal immigration.” The reality is much more grim.

The U.S. government aims to control all aspects of American life, including knowing where you are at any given moment. To do this they are building a huge surveillance and police state in the name of fighting terrorism and immigration. Do not fall for the trap. Fight the police state at every turn.

Also Read: Customs And Border Protection Seeks Biometric ID For All Major U.S. Airports Within 4 Years

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1 and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2

Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact Derrick@activistpost.com

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