American Dragnet: Data-Driven Deportation in the 21st Century

Most people probably do not think that their identities and locations can be warrantlessly traced by ICE. However, we found:

■ ICE has scanned the driver’s license photos of 1 in 3 adults.
■ ICE has access to the driver’s license data of 3 in 4 adults.
■ ICE tracks the movements of drivers in cities home to 3 in 4 adults.
■ ICE could locate 3 in 4 adults through their utility records.

In a new report, American Dragnet: Data-Driven Deportation in the 21st Century we explain how ICE has – often without any judicial, legislative or public oversight – accessed datasets containing detailed personal records on the vast majority of people in the United States. Anyone’s information can end up in the hands of immigration enforcement simply by applying for a driver’s license; driving on the roads; or signing up with their local utilities to get access to heat, water and electricity.

The product of a two-year investigation, including hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests, thousands of pages in responses, and a comprehensive review of ICE spending, our report quantifies the reach and expansion of ICE surveillance. The report calls upon Congress to investigate and conduct oversight into ICE surveillance, and it offers state and local communities a set of concrete suggestions for dismantling this surveillance dragnet.

Public Records Documents

The public records responses we received and other primary source material we referenced during our research are available here.