In response to President Donald Trump’s recent immigration policy separating children from their parents attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, Wikileaks published a database on Thursday reportedly identifying more than 9,000 current and former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees. After gaining the adoration of Trump supporters by posting thousands of emails from the Clinton campaign in 2016, Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, are currently facing the scorn of Trump’s base along with the families and friends of other law enforcement officials.
On Thursday, Wikileaks tweeted, “ICEPatrol is a searchable archive of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) positions voluntarily released to the public by each staff member. It is useful for journalists to develop sources inside ICE and to understand its structure. ice.wikileaks.org”
Containing the publicly available LinkedIn profile photos and background information of more than 9,000 current and former ICE employees, the database includes a list of field agents, deportation officers, IT workers, human resource interns, legal assistants, etc. The project was initially created by a New York-based artist and programmer named Sam Lavigne, who first attempted to publish a smaller version of the ICE database on Tuesday using the site, GitHub.
After GitHub removed the ICE database, Lavigne briefly posted a blog on Medium describing the project before it was also removed. In the blog, he wrote, “As ICE continues to ramp up its inhumane surveillance and detention efforts, I believe it’s important to document what’s happening, and by whom, in any way we can. To that end, I’ve downloaded and made available the profiles of (almost) everyone on LinkedIn who works for ICE, 1595 people total. While I don’t have a precise idea of what should be done with this data set, I leave it here with the hope that researchers, journalists and activists will find it useful.”
On Thursday, Wikileaks tweeted, “ICEPatrol is an important public resource for understanding ICE programs and increasing accountability, especially in light of the extreme actions taken by ICE lately, such as the separation of children and parents at the US border.”
On Friday, The Intercept’s Micah Lee posted screenshots of several angry comments directed at Wikileaks on Twitter along with the caption: “Wikileaks created a searchable database of ICE employees, scraped from their public LinkedIn profiles. Check out how much this is pissing off their post-2016 right-wing nationalist anti-immigrant support base haha”
Also on Friday, Wikileaks reportedly published a copy of ICE’s Undercover Operations Handbook from 2008. According to Wikileaks, the leaked manual refers to ICE agents deceptively marrying their targets as a “sensitive” undercover technique.