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ICE's High-Tech Dragnet Enables Profiling

February 28, 2014 (1 min read)

"A single scan of his finger landed Gomez in a federal detention center, and he’s now awaiting word on whether he’ll be deported. But his encounter inside the vehicle would otherwise leave no traces -- no record of his arrest, or of why officers stopped him, and no proof, other than his memories, that officers from two agencies had set up a checkpoint in a suburban parking lot.

Deportations, which doubled under President Bush, have risen again under the Obama administration to historic highs, with 409,849 removals nationwide in 2012. Gomez is one of thousands of immigrants across the country who’ve been snared in a surge fed by partnerships between local and federal officials who use biometric tools to find deportable aliens.

But critics say that Jefferson Parish is a prime example of how such partnerships and tools have led to widespread abuses. Civil libertarians and advocates for immigrants charge that Latinos, including legal residents, are being stopped for dubious reasons and their biometric data collected, and that the drive to catch criminal aliens is leading to the deportation of long-term residents without criminal records and with deep ties to the U.S." - Hannah Rappleye, Feb. 28, 2014.