Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are exploring joining the Intelligence Community, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday.
“Those spying tools do not belong in the hands of ICE agents,” ACLU attorney Patrick Toomey noted.
He was not the only watchdog to offer concern.
“The idea that ICE could potentially get access to warrantless surveillance is frankly terrifying,” Jake Laperruque, senior counsel at the Project on Government Oversight said.
The effort to join the Intelligence Community has reportedly been going on since the Barack Obama administration.
Peter Vincent, general counsel for ICE under the Obama administration, said, “ICE has for the past decade been keenly interested in joining the Intelligence Community.”
“ICE officials have felt that by doing so, they would have greater prestige and credibility and authority,” he explained.
“The prospect of ICE joining the Intelligence Community, if true, should sound alarm bells,” Toomey, of the ACLU’s National Security Project, continued. “Such a move threatens to give an agency responsible for domestic immigration enforcement access to a vast pool of sensitive information collected by our spy agencies for foreign intelligence purposes.”