Civil rights groups in California want police and sheriff’s departments to stop sending license plate scanner information to a national private database, saying new public documents show federal immigration agents are using the system in breach of sanctuary state and city laws.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which obtained the documents as part of an open records lawsuit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is calling on lawmakers to request a statewide audit to review the data-sharing practices.
The collection of more than 1,000 pages of contracts, emails, manuals and other materials shows some California law enforcement departments have granted ICE unfettered access to the personal data of drivers and that federal officials are using it to track and locate immigrants in the country illegally who might not have criminal records and could be protected under the state’s sanctuary and privacy policies.
“We believe there has been a clear violation of the law and are calling for a proper investigation,” ACLU staff lawyer Vasudha Talla said. “The documents show a rogue [federal immigration] agency, and it has added mass surveillance to its toolbox.”
Read the full story on LATimes.com.