In order to enroll in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, Maria Praeli was required to provide the federal government with a trove of personal documents including her birth certificate, current and previous home addresses, phone numbers, school and medical records, as well as biometric data such as fingerprints and a photo ID.
“I gave them all my information,” Praeli, who moved to the U.S. from Peru with her parents when she was five, told reporters on a conference call following Tuesday’s announcement that the Trump Administration plans to end the program that provides a temporary shield from deportation for undocumented young people who were brought to the U.S. by their parents as children.
“Now we could face deportation for doing what the government asked of us.”
A 2016 graduate of Quinnipiac University, Praeli is now a policy associate at FWD.us, a pro-immigration reform group backed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley figures. She is also one of nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who entrusted the federal government with an array of personal information that many fear could now be used against them.
“It’s scary,” Praeli said. “They know where I live, they know where my family lives. I feel as though it puts us in danger…We are the easiest targets for them.”
Whether and how ICE will be able to tap into the DACA database remains to be seen. But the U.S. government has a troubling history of using legitimately collected personal information for different, and more nefarious, purposes. Perhaps the most glaring example is the Census Bureau’s involvement in helping locate Japanese Americans to be rounded up and sent to internment camps after Pearl Harbor.
a number of laws have since been passed restricting the use of Census data to statistical analysis, civil libertarians have raised concerns over the federal government’s use of biometric and other identifying data the FBI has from Yahoo News: