December 16, 2019

Undercover ICE agents may use social media for sting operations

Michigan residents often use the internet and social media to expand their circle of friends and business associates. When an individual who is pending citizenship believes he or she is making a connection with someone online, and it turns out to be an undercover law enforcement official, it may require legal assistance in order to prevent a deportation. 

Reportedly, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have relied on fake profiles on social media platforms to set up deportation arrests, according to Business Insider. Reporting by major news sources points to law enforcement using false social media profiles to track and monitor individuals alleged of not possessing the documents required to live or work in the U.S. This may include allegations of an expired visa, proof of entering the U.S. unlawfully or failing to meet the requirements for citizenship. 

Using social media to gain the trust of undocumented individuals 

By gaining trust through online posts, ads and messaging, law enforcement has reportedly lured undocumented individuals to a physical location. After meeting with them in person, unsuspecting individuals have found themselves in the custody of ICE agents. One such sting operation reportedly resulted in the arrests of a number of undocumented individuals in Michigan. 

Arresting, detaining and deporting undocumented individuals 

Under certain circumstances, law enforcement officials may arrest individuals who do not possess the proper documentation. If an individual is driving when stopped, he or she must also provide proof of a valid driver’s license. Answering additional questions, however, may provide information that immigration authorities might later use against an individual. 

Many undocumented immigrants find themselves detained after an allegation of breaking a law. While he or she is in a local county jail, officials may conduct a background check and then exchange information with ICE agents. If an individual is on an extradition list, he or she may face deportation. When detained, an individual may, however, request legal representation to avoid deportation.