Immigration Enforcement–related Information Sharing and Privacy Protection

RESOURCE LIST
Immigration Enforcement–related Information Sharing and Privacy Protection

Last updated DECEMBER 2021

The resources in this list provide background information on the complex and opaque web of databases, related systems, and information-sharing mechanisms that facilitate federal immigration enforcement, as well measures that protect the confidentiality of immigrants’ personal information. These databases, systems, and mechanisms depend on the participation of private companies and on the entanglement of state and local law enforcement or licensing agencies with federal immigration and law enforcement agencies. The list, which includes issue briefs and reports as well as articles, will be updated as more resources become available.


Contents


How state and local information is shared with DHS,[1] and how states and localities can protect immigrants’ personal information

ISSUE BRIEFS & REPORTS

Documents Obtained Under Freedom of Information Act: How U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement and State Motor Vehicle Departments Share Information (NILC, May 2016).

Glossary at a Glance: Immigration Databases, Information Sharing Systems, and Case Management Systems (NILC, Jan. 2018).

How California Driver’s License Records Are Shared with the Department of Homeland Security: Documents Obtained under Public Records Act Requests to the California Department of Justice and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (ACLU of Northern California and NILC, Dec. 2018).

Immigrants’ Rights Gain Ground in the States: 2018-2019 (NILC, Dec. 2019).

Nlets: Questions and Answers (NILC, Nov. 2020)

Protecting State Driver’s License Information (NILC, Feb. 2020).

Untangling the Immigration Enforcement Web: Basic Information for Advocates about Databases and Information-Sharing Among Federal, State, and Local Agencies (NILC, Sep. 2017).

ARTICLES

How ICE Picks Its Targets in the Surveillance Age (McKenzie Funk, New York Times Magazine, Oct. 3, 2019).

Untangling the Immigration Enforcement Web: New NILC Report Looks at Cooperation Between Local Law Enforcement and Federal Agencies (NILC staff, The Torch, Sept. 22, 2017).


Accuracy of DHS databases

COURT DECISIONS

Gonzalez v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, Case No. 2:12-cv-09012-AB (FFMx) (U.S.D.C., C.D. CA) (Sep. 27, 2019). Permanent injunction issued Feb. 5, 2020. Permanent injunction regarding databases vacated by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, case remanded to U.S. district court for reconsideration of database claims, recognizing that “it may be … that the court will ultimately be proven correct about the unreliability of ICE’s system of databases.” Gonzalez v. USICE, 9th Circuit, Nos. 20-55175 & 20-55252 (July 13, 2020).

ISSUE BRIEFS & REPORTS

Untangling the Immigration Enforcement Web: Basic Information for Advocates about Databases and Information-Sharing Among Federal, State, and Local Agencies (NILC, Sep. 2017).


DHS’s use of state driver’s license and license plate databases

ISSUE BRIEFS & REPORTS

Documents Obtained Under Freedom of Information Act: How U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement and State Motor Vehicle Departments Share Information (NILC, May 2016).

How California Driver’s License Records Are Shared with the Department of Homeland Security: Documents Obtained under Public Records Act Requests to the California Department of Justice and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (ACLU of Northern California and NILC, Dec. 2018).

Nlets: Questions and Answers (NILC, Nov. 2020)

Protecting State Driver’s License Information (NILC, Feb. 2020).

Secure Our Data: Protecting the Privacy of Pennsylvania Residents and Drivers (Driving Pennsylvania Forward and the Farmworker Legal Advocacy Clinic, Sep. 2020).

State Driver’s License Data: Breaking Down Data Sharing and Recommendations for Data Privacy (Just Futures Law, March 2020).

Untangling the Immigration Enforcement Web: Basic Information for Advocates about Databases and Information-Sharing Among Federal, State, and Local Agencies (NILC, Sep. 2017).

Virginia DMV Data Sharing with ICE: How Does It Happen and How HB2163 Can Stop It (Legal Aid Justice Center, Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Just Futures Law, and ACLU People Power Fairfax, Feb. 3, 2021).

ARTICLES

How ICE Uses Driver’s License Photos and DMV Databases (Joan Friedland, The Torch, Aug. 6, 2019).

Records Reveal ICE Agents Run Thousands of License Plate Queries a Month in Massive Location Database (Vasudha Talla and Matt Cagle, ACLU of Northern California, June 5, 2019).

Updates on REAL ID and Increased Information Sharing by Departments of Motor Vehicles (Joan Friedland, The Torch, Jan. 8, 2018).


Continuous surveillance of immigrants

ISSUE BRIEFS & REPORTS

Cradle to Grave: Department of Homeland Security Builds System to Track and Surveil Immigrants and Impede Access to Lawful Status (NILC, Feb. 2021).

Stop Trump’s Midnight Surveillance Rule: Proposed Rule Would Track and Surveil Immigrants and Impede Access to Immigration Status by Expanding Biometrics Collections (NILC, Feb. 2021).

COMMENTS ON PROPOSED REGULATIONS

Comments on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: USCIS, DHS: Collection and Use of Biometrics by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, CIS No. 2644-19 (Docket No. USCIS-2019-0007) (NILC and Just Futures Law, Oct. 13, 2020).

Comments Regarding Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Collection and Use of Biometrics by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS Docket No. USCIS–2019–0007, 85 Fed. Reg. 56338) (Electronic Frontier Foundation, Oct. 13, 2020).

ARTICLES

Redacted National Vetting Center Implementation Plan Raises More Concerns Than It Answers (Joan Friedland, The Torch, Jan. 31, 2019).


Use of gang databases in immigration enforcement

ISSUE BRIEFS & REPORTS

AB 90: More Welcome Fixes to California’s Gang Databases (NILC, Nov. 2017).

Frequently Asked Questions on “Gang-Related” Immigration Enforcement (PDF) (Julie Mao and Paromita Shah, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Oct. 25, 2017).

Untangling the Immigration Enforcement Web: Basic Information for Advocates about Databases and Information-Sharing Among Federal, State, and Local Agencies (NILC, Sep. 2017).

ARTICLES

NILC and Other Orgs Work to Shed Light on Gang Databases and Fight the Criminalization of People of Color (Shiu-Ming Cheer, The Torch, July 14, 2016).


Protecting privacy of public benefits information

ISSUE BRIEFS & REPORTS

Privacy Protections in Selected Federal Benefits Programs (NILC, Feb. 21, 2018).

Sample Letter & Appendix: Privacy Protections in Selected Federal Benefits Programs, (NILC, Feb. 21, 2108).


Health crisis–related surveillance

ISSUE BRIEFS & REPORTS

FAQ: Immigrant Workers’ Rights and COVID-19—A Resource for Workers and Their Advocates (NILC, National Employment Law Project, and OSH Law Project, Apr. 2020).

Surveillance During COVID-19: Five Ways Governments and Companies Are Using the Health Crisis to Expand Surveillance (Just Futures Law, Apr. 2020).


Use of face recognition technology in immigration enforcement

ISSUE BRIEFS & REPORTS

America Under Watch: Face Surveillance in the United States (Clare Garvie and Laura M. Moy, Center on Privacy and Technology, Georgetown Law, May 16, 2019).

Backgrounder: Face Recognition and Driver’s License Photo–Sharing (NILC, Oct. 2019).

Face Off: Law Enforcement Use of Face Recognition Technology (Jennifer Lynch, Electronic Frontier Foundation, May 2019).

Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT): Part 3: Demographic Effects (PDF) (National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce, Dec. 2019).

Garbage In, Garbage Out: Face Recognition on Flawed Data (Clare Garvie, Center on Privacy and Technology, Georgetown Law, May 16, 2019).

ICE Searches of State Driver’s License Databases (Harrison Rudolph, Center on Privacy and Technology, Georgetown Law, July 8, 2019).

The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America (Clare Garvie, Alvaro Bedoya, and Jonathan Frankle, Center on Privacy and Technology, Georgetown Law, Oct. 18, 2016).

Untangling the Immigration Enforcement Web: Basic Information for Advocates about Databases and Information-Sharing Among Federal, State, and Local Agencies (NILC, Sep. 2017).

ARTICLES

How ICE Uses Driver’s License Photos and DMV Databases (Joan Friedland, The Torch, Aug. 6, 2019).


Role of immigrants’ social media activities in immigration enforcement

ISSUE BRIEFS & REPORTS

Timeline of Social Media Monitoring for Vetting by the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department (Brennan Center for Justice, Nov. 12, 2019).

ARTICLES

DHS Is Collecting Information on Immigrants’ and Citizens’ Social Media Use and Making It Part of Their Permanent Records (Joan Friedland, The Torch, Nov. 30, 2017).

How Ice Uses Social Media to Surveil and Arrest Immigrants (Max Rivlin-Nadler, The Intercept, Dec. 22, 2019).


DHS reliance on private contractors and commercial data brokers

ISSUE BRIEFS & REPORTS

Austin’s Big Secret: How Big Tech and Surveillance Are Increasing Policing (Grassroots Leadership, Just Futures Law, and Mijente, 2020).

ICE’s EDDIE Program: How ICE Uses Biometric Scanner Tech to Ramp Up Raids (Mijente and Just Futures Law, Nov. 2020)

Who’s Behind ICE? The Tech and Data Companies Fueling Deportations (Immigrant Defense Project, and Mijente, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Oct. 23, 2018).

ARTICLES

Deportation Machine Relies on Inaccurate Databases and Unregulated Collection (Joan Friedland, The Torch, Nov. 1, 2019).

How ICE Blurs the Line between Enforcement of Civil Immigration Violations and Enforcement of Criminal Laws (Joan Friedland, The Torch, Aug. 27, 2019).

Information Vacuuming: The Trump Administration Is Collecting Massive Amounts of Data for Its Immigrant Surveillance and Deportation Machine (Joan Friedland, The Torch, Aug. 22, 2018).

Is Your Utility Company Telling ICE Where You Live? (Nina Wang, Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, Feb. 26, 2021).

Lawyers and Scholars to LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters: Stop Helping ICE Deport People (Cora Currier, The Intercept, Nov. 14, 2019).

Palantir Played Key Role in Arresting Families for Deportation, Document Shows (Mijente, May 2, 2019).

Palantir Provides the Engine for Donald Trump’s Deportation Machine (Spencer Woodman, The Intercept, Mar. 2, 2017).

Palantir’s Technology Used in Mississippi Raids Where 680 Were Arrested (Mijente, Oct. 4, 2019).


Social Security no-match letters and immigration enforcement

ISSUE BRIEFS & REPORTS

Frequently Asked Questions: Social Security No-Match Letters (NILC, Mar. 2019).


Building the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) database

ISSUE BRIEFS & REPORTS

Factsheet: Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART): DHS is Building a Massive Database of Personal Information

COMMENTS ON PROPOSED REGULATIONS

Comments on Notice of a New System of Records: Department of Homeland Security/All-041 External Biometric Records (EBR) System of Records (Docket No. DHS-2017-0039) (NILC and Just Futures Law, May 23, 2018).

Comments on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: USCIS, DHS: Collection and Use of Biometrics by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, CIS No. 2644-19 (Docket No. USCIS-2019-0007) (NILC and Just Futures Law, Oct. 13, 2020).

Comments on Privacy Act of 1974: New System of Records Titled ‘‘Department of Homeland Security/All–043 Enterprise Biometric Administrative Records (EBAR) System of Records (SOR)’’ and on Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of Exemptions; Department of Homeland Security/All–043 Enterprise Biometric Administrative Records (EBAR) System of Records (Docket Nos. DHS–2019–0046 and DHS-2019-0047) (NILC and Just Futures Law, May 19, 2020).

Comments Regarding Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Collection and Use of Biometrics by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS Docket No. USCIS–2019–0007, 85 Fed. Reg. 56338) (Electronic Frontier Foundation, Oct. 13, 2020).

ARTICLES

HART: Homeland Security’s Massive New Database Will Include Face Recognition, DNA, and Peoples’ “Non-Obvious Relationships” (Jennifer Lynch, Electronic Frontier Foundation, June 7, 2018).


NOTES

[1] DHS = U.S. Department of Homeland Security