All posts by Brian

Richmond Cuts Ties To ICE Data Brokers


On May 15th, the City Council of Richmond, CA voted 6-1 to enact a Sanctuary City Contracting ordinance, sponsored by Councilmembers Jovanka Beckles and Ada Recinos.

The Sanctuary City ordinance (model legislation can be found on this website) was developed by the 19-member Deport ICE coalition which seeks to strengthen sanctuary protections in California cities.  Continue reading Richmond Cuts Ties To ICE Data Brokers


May 15 Richmond City Council Vote – Press Release


Office of Jovanka Beckles

Richmond City Council

May 14, 2018

For Immediate Release


Councilmember Jovanka Beckles (510) 620-6581 Email:

Ruscal Cayangyang (707) 567-7095 Email:

Brian Hofer (510) 303-2871 Email:

Richmond City Council Considering Limits on Federal Data-Sharing on May 15

Proposed New Law in Richmond Cuts off Extreme Vetting and Data Vendors from City Business

Richmond-On May 15, the Richmond City Council will consider a contracting and investment ordinance that would prevent the city’s business and investment funds from going to data broker companies that share personal information with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement or participate in the Trump Administration’s “extreme vetting” program. The full text of the proposed ordinance can be read here.

Sponsored by Councilmembers Jovanka Beckles and Ada Recinos, the Sanctuary City Contracting and Investment Ordinance was developed by a 19-organization coalition working under the name #DeportICE ( The coalition’s work focuses on strengthening immigrant protections in the Bay Area’s sanctuary cities to remove loopholes and assist local governments with sanctuary policies from indirectly subsidizing or cooperating with the Trump Administration’s aggressive civil immigration enforcement ramp-up.

“As a Black Latina immigrant, I have witnessed and experienced the challenges faced by our immigrant community. As a Richmond City Council Member, I am proud to introduce this ordinance to uphold our commitment to protect both undocumented community members and our city policies. We must prevent contractors from sharing information of immigrants to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Other cities are in the process of reviewing their policies.” said Councilmember Beckles.

Mike Katz-Lacabe of Oakland Privacy, which anchors the #DeportICE coalition, commented: “One way to fight the deportation machinery and protect our friends and neighbors is to stop feeding that machinery with data collected by local law enforcement.”

The Cities of Alameda, Berkeley, and Oakland are considering the same ordinance.

“Sanctuary cities should not be contracting with or profiting from such data broker companies that engage with ICE or ‘extreme vetting’ programs that put vulnerable communities at risk,” says Sameena Usman, Government Relations Coordinator for the Council on American Islamic Relations-SF Bay Area, another member of the #DeportICE coalition.  “These programs are a serious threat to due process, civil liberties, and would inevitably chill free speech.”

The coalition’s work is based on the belief that the combination of Big Data and the xenophobic dog-whistles of the Trump Administration is potentially leading the United States into a hi-tech echo of the conditions that led to the domestic detention of Japanese-Americans and the concentration camps of fascist Germany which ended in the mass murder of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and resistance dissenters in Europe in the 1940’s.

“When it comes to private business practices, the Constitution isn’t always helpful. Much like existing anti-nuclear weapon or border wall contractor prohibition ordinances here in the Bay Area, this Sanctuary City Contracting ordinance provides local elected officials with a tool to disincentivize or change private behavior. If these vendors want our taxpayer dollars, they need to align with our values. We are extremely grateful that Councilmembers Beckles and Recinos recognize the need for such laws”, said Brian Hofer of #DeportICE and chair of Oakland’s Privacy Commission.



South Bay Immigrant Rights Group Tells Vigilant Solutions To Void ICE Contract


Immigration rights activists from Pasos, supported by the San Jose/Sacred Heart chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice, visited the Livermore, CA headquarters of license plate reader manufacturer Vigilant Solutions on the afternoon of Friday, March 11.

After a rally, activists attempted to deliver a letter to Vigilant asking them to void their January 2018 contract with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Vigilant employees would not answer the doorbell, so the letter was taped to the front door. Oakland Privacy and the DeportICE coalition sent a rep to the Vigilant delegation.

San Francisco Chronicle coverage of the delegation.

NBC Bay Area coverage of the delegation.

Continue reading South Bay Immigrant Rights Group Tells Vigilant Solutions To Void ICE Contract


Richmond and Berkeley Refer Sanctuary City Ordinances

On MayDay, Richmond and Berkeley joined Alameda as cities developing Sanctuary City Contracting Ordinances to cut municipal ties to ICE data brokers and vendors in any extreme vetting program.

Richmond’s law is being sponsored by Councilperson Jovanka Beckes, a candidate for Assembly District 15 rep, and Ada Recinos and will return for a final vote on the 15th of May.

Berkeley’s law is being sponsored by Councilmembers Kriss Worthington, Kate Harrison and Cheryl Davila and will return for a full Council vote after a review by the City’s Peace and Justice subcommittee.

Both votes were unanimous.


#DeportICE Coalition Letter In Support of VM Vella’s Sanctuary City Contracting Ordinance


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Lawyers, legal researchers, paralegals, law schools and law students all rely on Westlaw for a comprehensive collection of legal resources, including cases, statute, citation guides, administrative code, arbitration materials, dockets and regulatory code.

The product line from Thomson Reuters, available in a variety of price points and scope, feeds the legal system, including  the immigration support system which heavily relies on the legal system to aid those caught in the deportation net.

Thomson Reuters’ leadership position in legal research support is an example of how multinational corporations suck profit out of all ends of the system and from proposing “solutions” to the disasters they help to create.

By feeding CLEAR information into the Trump deportation machine at a hefty price, and then collecting again from the pro bono and public interest attorneys and legal clinics and law schools trying to defend immigrant communities, Thomson Reuters cynically manipulates the immigration system.

It is time for the public interest legal community to put a stop to this. However helpful the resource, feeding funds directly into the efficacy of the deportation machine is working at cross-purposes.



Extreme Vetting


Update: On May 17, 2018, the Washington Post announced that the Department of Homeland Security had “thrown out” the proposal for tech companies to develop software to implement the proposed extreme vetting program. 

#DeportICE targets three categories of deportation and detention suppliers.

Exteme Vetting Vendors, Data Brokers, and Detention Facility Operators.

What is Extreme Vetting?

Extreme Vetting is a proposal by the Trump administration to subject visa applicants and potential immigrants to enhanced investigatory procedures using software alogorithims to scrape data and computationally assess immigration and visa decisions.

Extreme Vetting has followed Trump’s 3 consecutive “Muslim bans”,  Activist groups have referred to extreme vetting as a digital Muslim ban.

The Department of Homeland Security put out a requisition for software to perform the enhanced vetting in the fall of 2017, hosting a 2-day vendor show and tell in Arlington in the fall of 2017, attended by numerous technology companies.  The extreme vetting slide show and sign-in sheets for the events are below, courtesy of The Intercept.  Attendees included a who’s who of technology giants including IBM, Lexis-Nexis, SAS, Deloitte, Giant Oak, Unisys, Red Hat, Booz Allen and SAIC.

54 technology experts signed a letter of protest stating that the extreme vetting program was misguided, that software could not peform in the way intended in an accurate and objective manner, and that the program would inevitably result in biased targeting.

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