Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Report Finds Anti-Terror Tool Being Used to Find Undocumented Immigrants

On Thursday, The Detroit News reported that federal investigators are using a device designed for counterterrorism to find the location of undocumented immigrants. The device, known as Hailstorm or Stingray, simulates a cell tower and fools nearby phones into providing location data, and can also interrupt cellular service in the targeted area.

“ICE officers and special agents use a broad range of investigative techniques in the apprehension of criminal suspects. Cell-site simulators are invaluable law enforcement tools that locate or identify mobile devices during active criminal investigations,” said ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls, in defense of his agency’s use of the device.

The newspaper obtained an unsealed federal search warrant affidavit documenting the use of the device. The FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Detroit used the mechanism during a case in March; authorities were looking for Rudy Carcamo- Carranza, 23, a twice-deported restaurant worker from El Salvador who had been involved in cases of drunk-driving and hit-and-runs.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has arrested more than 41,000 known or suspected undocumented immigrants in Trump’s first 100 days, a notable 37.6 percent increase from the same time frame last year. President Trump’s executive orders on immigration have contributed to the surge of immigration arrests and deportations.

The Hill Latino