Dan King comes back to the Young Voices podcast to share the latest in the long story of government infringing on civil liberties. He wrote in the Observer about technology law enforcement used to fight terrorism that is now being applied to immigration enforcement.
There’s a lot to dislike about President Donald Trump’s immigration policies—the wall plan, the deportations and the staggering cost, to name a few. But as arrests rise, one aspect of immigration enforcement that is often overlooked is the the use of overreaching surveillance and tracking.
Under the Trump administration, the feds have used controversial tools to sniff out immigrants. Stingray cell site simulators are particularly concerning. The Stingray is the most popular variety of IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) catchers created by Harris Corporation, a defense contractor, and it’s intended for use in overseas military investigations.
Texas’s Senate Bill 4 is making headlines this week, as it was just passed by both House and Senate and is heading to Gov. Abbott’s desk this week. The bill, notorious for being the “toughest sanctuary city bill in the country,” has been met with fierce opposition by law enforcement and private citizens alike. It’s so disliked that a reported 24 people were arrested at the Capitol on Monday, as they disrupted the peace and blocked entrances while singing and chanting in protest.
SB 4 essentially forces police officers and other officials to comply with any and all federal orders to detain illegal immigrants. If they refuse to comply, and treat a given jurisdiction as a sanctuary city or area, they can now face jail time and fines, with punishments escalating in severity if they repeat offenses. As it currently stands, law enforcement officers have some degree of discretion over what happens to those they detain. Under this law, which will take effect in September, the police will have terrifyingly-wide discretion to ask for documentation of legal status, even during routine traffic stops.