NHMC Opposes ICE’s Extreme Vetting Initiative to Generate 10,000 Deportation Leads Per Year

On February 20, 2018, NHMC co-hosted a Hill briefing to expose a program that U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) will use to generate 10,000 deportation investigation leads per year. ICE has begun its search for a vendor that can build automated software to continuously monitor social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to determine whether visa applicants will positively contribute to society and make contributions to the national interest, criteria extracted directly from President Trump’s rescinded Muslim Ban. This software is also expected to determine whether an applicant intends to commit a crime or terrorist act.

NHMC continues to oppose this Extreme Vetting Initiative, renamed the Visa Lifecycle Vetting Program, on various fronts. Experts and advocates agree that it is tailor-made for discrimination. Because there are no computational methods that can provide reliable or objective assessments, this program will rely on proxies to assign values for subjective criteria and disproportionately impact communities of color. On March 2, 2018, NHMC joined a coalition of civil liberties groups in a Freedom of Information Act request urging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to publish contracts, policies, guidance, correspondence, and related materials for public review. The wide range of records will help provide transparency before the agency takes any additional steps to develop this program.

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