Jan 26, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Report: ICE gains access to license plate database


Image: Pacific Press / Getty Images

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has struck a deal with Vigilant Solutions to give the agency access to billions of license plate records, reports The Verge.

Why it matters: Vigilant's massive vehicle-tracking network will allow ICE agents to search every place a specific license plate has been captured on camera in the last five years. It will also give agents the ability to set up alerts for whenever a particular license plate is spotted, making it extremely difficult for vehicles of interest to remain unnoticed for long.

An agency spokesperson gave the following statement to The Verge:

“Like most other law enforcement agencies, ICE uses information obtained from license plate readers as one tool in support of its investigations. ICE is not seeking to build a license plate reader database, and will not collect nor contribute any data to a national public or private database through this contract.”

The big picture: Arrests of undocumented immigrants without criminal records have more than doubled in the past year, leaving many concerned about ICE's targeting practices.

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