ICE Wants To Be Yet Another Federal Agency With Access To Unminimized Surveillance https://t.co/bTsrVJ5JIj
Officials at ICE are pitching a dangerous idea to an administration likely to give it some consideration. It wants a seat at the grown-up table where it can partake of unminimized intel directly.
Internal advocates for joining the America’s spy agencies—known as the Intelligence Community or the IC—focus on the potential benefits to the agency’s work on counterproliferation, money laundering, counterterror, and cybercrime. The official added that joining the IC could also be useful for the agency’s immigration enforcement work––in particular, their efforts to find and arrest undocumented immigrants with criminal arrest warrants (known in ICE as fugitive aliens).
At this point, no one other than a few ICE officials really wants this to happen. Privacy and accountability activists say the last thing the White House should do is give the agency access to warrantless surveillance. ICE is a domestic enforcement agency and has no need to root around in foreign-facing data collections. The agency, however, feels foreign intel -- along with the unmentioned backdoor searches of domestic communications -- could aid it in tracking down drug traffickers, money launders, and various cybercriminals.
But it shouldn't have direct access. Nor should it ever really need it. Information sharing has been expanded, thanks to the last president, which means ICE likely already receives second-hand info from other IC members like the DHS, FBI, and DEA. Former government officials are wary of the idea of direct intel access, noting that it would result in more complications, rather than better immigration and customs enforcement. Peter Vincent, ICE's general counsel under Obama, had this to say: