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DMV Employees Have Been Accused of Collaborating With ICE. This Isn’t the First Time.

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In Illinois, a Temporary Visitors Driver’s License program allows undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license. Applicants must have an Illinois address, prove 12 months of residency in the state, and have a valid passport or consular card to be eligible.

The country’s immigration enforcement agency has turned many states’ driver’s license databases into catalogs for facial image recognition: Millions of Americans’ faces have been unwittingly scanned as Immigration and Customs Enforcement searches for people who are living in the country undocumented. 

Researchers at Georgetown University collected five years’ worth of government documents and emails through public records requests. After analyzing the documents, the researchers announced over the weekend that ICE has been using some states’ Department of Motor Vehicle records to complete its operations. 

The report brought new attention to the ways in which ICE and local DMVs cooperate. While in some states, like Utah, the role of DMV employees has been more passive—for instance, agreeing to ICE‘s requests to provide license data and facial images—in other states, DMV employees may have been more active collaborators. 

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Thanks !

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