ACLU Of Arizona Sues For Records, DATA From ICE's National Call Center

Published: Wednesday, December 26, 2018 - 6:35pm
Updated: Wednesday, December 26, 2018 - 6:50pm

The ACLU of Arizona thinks some traffic stops are being illegally prolonged while local police investigate a person’s immigration status, and the civil liberties group has sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for information that can show if its belief is true. 

The lawsuit, which was filed on Dec. 19, alleges ICE violated the Freedom of Information Act by not turning over records and data from the agency’s Law Enforcement Support Center in Vermont.

“From my understanding, it’s literally a call center. A 24/7 call center operated by ICE,” said ACLU of Arizona staff attorney Billy Peard. 

Legal exceptions aside, Peard said ICE must turn over the records.

“The question of course is, how long will it take them to produce them. And how fervently will they push back on those obligations,” he said.

The information the ACLU of Arizona wants from ICE will shed light on what happens when local police call the Law Enforcement Support Center to check the immigration status of a driver or passenger. 

“So in this circumstance, we believe that there are a large number of traffic stops both in Arizona and other parts of the country that are being unlawfully prolonged,” Peard said.

KJZZ sought comment from ICE, but got an automatic reply saying law prohibits communications staff from working during a government shutdown.

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