How ICE picks (and finds) its targets

| May 4, 2020 | Immigration |

Are you being targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)? ICE agents have increasingly been harnessing the power of social media and the internet to identify potential targets and conduct surveillance.

Their efforts are far from random, too. Take, for example, recent revelations about how ICE officials purposefully targeted an immigrant in Washington state for organizing protests against the Northwest Detention Center. Emails going back to 2017 indicate that operatives deliberately focus their attention on immigrants who participate in human rights activism.

ICE is also looking at other ways of identifying and prosecuting immigration violations. These days, few people think twice about their digital footprints — but ICE is using everything from the public social media pages of immigrants and their families to the “check-in” feature on a lot of smartphones that can reveal where a suspect is shopping, dining or relaxing.

ICE is also making use of data from a variety of commercial data brokers to identify immigrants who have been previously deported and returned to the United States without permission. They can cull information about immigrants from sources as varied as the U.S. Post Office to local utility companies and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

It’s increasingly difficult for undocumented immigrants to stay off ICE’s radar. The digital age has made it easier than ever for ICE to track down just about anybody that has come to their attention — and they’re not shy about using whatever information they glean to make an arrest. If you or your family members are struggling with a difficult immigration issue, don’t wait until ICE is at your door to seek experienced legal assistance. A proactive approach may save you a great deal of trouble.