Courtesy of Gulbenk via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 3.0

There was recently an Immigration and Customs Enforcement data breach on Nov. 28th that resulted in the release of thousands of immigrants’ personal information, including birthdates and detention locations. This information was posted on the internet by government officials. There has been controversy over this incident as it puts immigrants at risk. ICE should be thoroughly investigated and held accountable for its actions because a data breach like this is absolutely unacceptable.

There are many immigrants that come to the U.S. seeking asylum from dangerous situations such as fleeing gang violence and government persecution. ICE is responsible for handling the private information of immigrants and case processing. ICE has stated that they are willing to help those that were deported in relation to this incident to come back and safely seek asylum here in the U.S. ICE has said that they will not deport any further people affected by this breach until they have a chance to take this issue to immigration court. By the time the breach was discovered, however, over a hundred people whose information was leaked had already been deported. 

Immigration lawyer Curtis Morrison plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of more than a dozen immigrant detainees who say that the breach put them in danger. Morrisson says that the agency’s actions are not sufficient enough to make up for the harm that this breach caused. This is despicable. ICE has put many immigrants in danger with little to no consequences or accountability. They are ignorant and desensitized to the kind of dangers they are responsible for. 

Often, the safety and needs of immigrants are overlooked in America, and that is why this issue has not been talked about more. Had these immigrants come from a place of privilege there would probably be more talk surrounding these unfortunate circumstances by the public and by the U.S. federal government.    

ICE should be further investigated to see what caused the release of what should have been protected, personal information. ICE is a large organization with a large mandate and for them to have put these people at risk is unacceptable. The investigation into this incident should be used to hold the agency accountable and to improve the system used to protect the information of immigrants. 

ICE should work more diligently to provide immigrants with asylum and compensate the people who have been left vulnerable due to this mistake. However, ICE will likely not be held fully responsible for putting immigrants’ lives in danger. The incident is being labeled as a mistake, and this appears to be another instance of ICE’s poor track record of self-accountability. ICE should continue to focus on preventing this from recurring in the future by placing more protocols in place technologically and holding themselves accountable.