LexisNexis faces increased backlash over providing information to ICE

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LexisNexis faces increased backlash over providing information to ICE

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Over this past weekend, Mijente and the Colorado Immigrants Rights Coalition held a demonstration at the American Association of Law Libraries Conference in Denver, Colorado. [1] The advocacy groups wanted to bring greater awareness to the fact that LexisNexis, one of the world’s largest information brokers, offers up sensitive information on immigrants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”).

LexisNexis provides a tool commonly used by lawyers to research caselaw and statutes. However, the company also contracts with ICE to offer a plethora of personal information on individuals, including names, addresses, and arrest data. Utilizing this information ICE can then bypass sanctuary laws, such as the one in Colorado, to target and deport individuals who have been arrested but not yet convicted of any crimes.

In an official budget document, ICE has openly admitted that they have turned to LexisNexis as a response to increased sanctuary city and state policies.[2] LexisNexis previously issued a statement defending the use of their services by ICE stating that “[u]nder the Biden administration policies, [ICE] does not use the technology to track individuals that may have committed minor offenses. It is strictly used for identifying individuals with serious criminal backgrounds.”[3] However, such placations ignore the reality that the Biden administration’s ICE priority directives have been nationally enjoined.[4] Furthermore, presidential administrations and their enforcement priorities evaporate with the end of their term in office—while the information ICE gathers via LexisNexis tools can easily pass from one term into the next. This administration may be willing to ignore minor offenses (to the extent that they are not enjoined from doing so), but we have no assurances that the next will follow suit.

Here at Joseph and Hall, we condemn this sanctuary loophole that LexisNexis has created for ICE and we hope that, with the increased pressure drummed up by groups like Mijente and the Colorado Immigrants Rights Coalition, they rethink their clientele.

[1] https://coloradoimmigrant.org/new-report-shows-ice-uses-data-brokers-to-skirt-sanctuary-laws/

[2] https://www.aclu.org/news/immigrants-rights/how-ice-sidesteps-the-law-to-find-and-deport-people

[3] https://www.denverpost.com/2022/04/21/ice-private-data-colorado-sanctuary-laws-report/

[4] https://www.npr.org/2022/06/10/1104340619/a-federal-judge-in-texas-blocks-a-major-dhs-policy-limiting-immigration-enforcem

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