Win Against ICE Extreme Vetting Initiative

We're pushing back against ICE

June 1, 2018

As part of an active coalition of civil rights, civil liberties and immigration groups, we suspended ICE's automated social media vetting initiative, which seeks to identify individuals considered “high risk” and generate at least 10,000 leads for deportation every year.
As part of an active coalition of civil rights, civil liberties and immigration groups, we suspended ICE's automated social media vetting initiative, which seeks to identify individuals considered “high risk” and generate at least 10,000 leads for deportation every year.

Ramadan Mubarak! The last few months have been busy for us. We are part of an active coalition of civil rights, civil liberties and immigration groups to push back against Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) automated social media vetting initiative.

Last year, ICE began courting tech companies to develop an algorithm to comb through social media feeds of would-be visa holders. The objectives of this proposed algorithm: identify individuals considered “high risk,” identify others considered as “a positive contributing member of society,” and generate at least 10,000 leads for deportation every year. And, the only language to search through besides English? Arabic.

The inherent vagueness of defining “problematic” social media content through an algorithm, coupled with the targeting of a specific language, would most certainly lead to the prejudiced singling out of entire communities.

I am proud to say that, after facing a growing chorus of opposition from advocacy groups, including MPAC, tech experts, and members of both the House and Senate, ICE has suspended their contract proposal seeking a company to build an algorithm for social media vetting. This is a critical step in pushing back against these horrific policy proposals that violate our privacy, civil rights and civil liberties.

While ICE is no longer seeking an algorithm to monitor social media conversations to filter visa-holders from entering the country, the fight does not end here. There is no guarantee that ICE or any other federal agency won’t initiate this idea again in the future. We will remain vigilant in pushing back against policy proposals and initiatives that seek to curb our civil liberties and threaten immigrant communities.




Help us continue our work with a quick
one-time or monthly donation.

MAKE A DONATION