Activists Face Charges after Leaving Water for Migrants in AZ Desert, ICE to Track License Plates
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by Countable | 1.28.18
What’s the story?
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will soon have the ability to track license plates across the U.S.
Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents in Arizona have arrested eight humanitarian workers for leaving water along migrant routes on the desert border with Mexico.
ICE Tracking License Plates
The License Plate Reader (LPR) database will give ICE the ability to access billions of license plate records and real-time location tracking.
"Like most other law enforcement agencies, ICE uses information obtained from license plate readers as one tool in support of its investigations," agency spokeswoman Dani Bennett told The Verge in a statement.
Civil liberty groups condemned ICE’s planned use of the LPR database.
"There are people circulating in our society who are undocumented," American Civil Liberties Union senior policy analyst Jay Stanley told The Verge. “Are we as a society, out of our desire to find those people, willing to let our government create an infrastructure that will track all of us?”
Aid Workers Arrested
Eight members of the faith-based group No More Deaths – which leaves water for migrants in an area known as The Devil’s Highway – have been charged with federal crimes and misdemeanors. One of the members faces felony "harboring" charges for distributing the aid.
The arrests came shortly after the group posted videos of Border Patrol agents kicking and pouring out water bottles left in the Arizona desert for illegal border crossers.
"I think it is shameful. The U.S. needs to back down. There are people who will say look, they shouldn't be here, so the government is entitled to punish them in any way… Entering the U.S. to join your family or fleeing persecution doesn't deserve a death penalty," Margo Cowan, an attorney for No More Deaths, told Fox 10 in Tucson.
U.S. Border Patrol directed all questions to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Tucson, which had no comment.
What do you think?
Should ICE track license plates? Should those offering aid to illegal border crossers be charged? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: Phototreat / iStock)
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