ICE official steals immigrants identities for credit card fraud. Photo: AP
Seattle, Feb 15 (RHC)-- In the U.S. city of Seattle, the chief counsel for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, has been charged with stealing the identities of seven immigrants in order to defraud credit card companies.
Raphael Sanchez has resigned from the agency amid the charges and faces one count of aggravated identity theft and another of wire fraud.
Meanwhile, activists and civil liberties advocates are issuing warnings over reports that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is seeking to become an intelligence agency. Critics say the move would give ICE access to an array of raw intelligence data that could lead to further abuses as ICE carries out President Donald Trump’s mass deportation efforts.
Jake Laperruque, of the independent watchdog agency, the Project on Government Oversight, told reporters: "We’ve seen in the last year ICE demonstrate a willingness to be more severe and more arbitrary in its arrests, deportations and actions. So this would enable them to a much higher degree. It’s really like taking someone who you’re not comfortable giving like a kitchen knife to and handing them a grenade.”
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