Data mining leading to new type of immigration enforcement

June 2017

Police departments and federal agencies today have access to huge databases -- financial records, phone calls, vehicle records and criminal justice files -- that didn't exist two decades ago. And Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are now mining those vast quantities of data to identify and locate undocumented immigrants to arrest. The data are aiding a rise in immigration raids under President Trump's administration.

"The raids are different than before, they’re very targeted," Ana Muniz, an assistant professor of Criminology, Law & Society, told The Intercept. "Any sort of motivated agent has a way to access information from one system to another. The arrests we’re seeing in Los Angeles are of ICE agents sent out to detain or one two people with specific standing removal orders, that requires a detailed level of intelligence, whereas during the 1990s and 2000s, the raids were more location-based."

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