ICE to see car locations through Bay Area firm’s license plate database – SFGate

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According to The Verge, ICE (The Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agency now has access to nationwide license plate database. The database shows license plate records and can track people in real-time.

Media: Veuer

Federal immigration officers across the country will be able to track where vehicles have been after contracting with a Livermore company that keeps a vast database of license plate scans, officials said Friday.

James Schwab, a spokesman at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco, confirmed that the agency entered into a contract with West Publishing, which is partnering with Bay Area company Vigilant Solutions to provide the service. The contract was first reported by the news site The Verge.

ICE “has issued an award of a single source, firm-fixed price contract to obtain query-based access to a commercially available license plate reader database,” Schwab said in a statement. “Like most other law enforcement agencies, ICE uses information obtained from license plate readers as one tool in support of its investigations.”

  • License plate readers, sometimes attached to police cars, can collect data on car locations. ICE has entered a contract with a Livermore company that will allow the agency to view license plate scan information nationwide. Photo: Mike Katz-Lacabe, CIR

  • Click on to see the 20 US cities with the most undocumented immigrants. Photo: Getty

  • US cities with most undocumented immigrants.20. Austin-Round Rock100,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: David Sucsy, Getty Images / (c) David Sucsy

  • 19. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford110,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Lightkey, Multiple / (c) lightkey

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  • 18. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara120,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images / 2007 Getty Images

  • 17. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood130,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: AP

  • 16. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue150,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: SEATTLEPI.COM / SEATTLEPI.COM

  • 15. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington160,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Aimin Tang, E+/Getty

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  • 14. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise170,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Mathew Imaging, Credit / FilmMagic

  • 13. San Diego-Carlsbad170,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Joseph Sohm Www.visionsofamerica, Credit / © 2013 VisionsofAmerica.com/Joe Sohm. All Rights Reserved. (805) 649-2555

  • 12. Boston-Cambridge-Newton180,0000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Lisa Poole, ASSOCIATED PRESS / AP2007

  • 11. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward240,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: George Rose, Getty Images / 2015 George Rose

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  • 10. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale250,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Jeff Overs, Getty Images / BBC

  • 9. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario250,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Stan Lim, Associated Press

  • 8. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell250,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Giorgio Fochesato, Getty Images / (c) Giorgio Fochesato

  • 7. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria400,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: SAUL LOEB, Getty Images / AFP

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  • 6. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin425,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: TIM SLOAN/AFP, AFP/Getty Images / Getty Images

  • 5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach450,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Raimund Koch, Getty Images / (c) Raimund Koch

  • 4. Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington475,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Jeremy Woodhouse, Getty Images / (c) Jeremy Woodhouse

  • 3. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land575,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Smiley N. Pool, Staff / © 2012 Houston Chronicle

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  • 2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim1 million undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Narvikk, Getty Images / Vetta

  • 1. New York-Newark-Jersey City1.15 million undocumented immigrants in 2014 Photo: Julio Cortez, AP / AP

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Photo: Mike Katz-Lacabe, CIR
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License plate readers, sometimes attached to police cars, can collect data on car locations. ICE has entered a contract with a Livermore company that will allow the agency to view license plate scan information nationwide. less
License plate readers, sometimes attached to police cars, can collect data on car locations. ICE has entered a contract with a Livermore company that will allow the agency to view license plate scan information … more

Photo: Mike Katz-Lacabe, CIR

Image 2 of 28

Click on to see the 20 US cities with the most undocumented immigrants.

Click on to see the 20 US cities with the most undocumented immigrants.

Photo: Getty

Image 3 of 28
US cities with most undocumented immigrants.


20. Austin-Round Rock



100,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
US cities with most undocumented immigrants.


20. Austin-Round Rock



100,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: David Sucsy, Getty Images

Image 4 of 28
19. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford



110,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014



19. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford



110,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Lightkey, Multiple

Image 5 of 28

Image 6 of 28
18. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara



120,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

18. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara



120,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Image 7 of 28
17. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood

130,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

17. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood

130,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: AP

Image 8 of 28
16. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue



150,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
16. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue



150,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: SEATTLEPI.COM

Image 9 of 28
15. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington



160,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
15. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington



160,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Aimin Tang, E+/Getty

Image 10 of 28

Image 11 of 28
14. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise



170,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
14. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise



170,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Mathew Imaging, Credit

Image 12 of 28
13. San Diego-Carlsbad

170,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
13. San Diego-Carlsbad

170,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Joseph Sohm Www.visionsofamerica, Credit

Image 13 of 28
12. Boston-Cambridge-Newton



180,0000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
12. Boston-Cambridge-Newton



180,0000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Lisa Poole, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Image 14 of 28
11. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward



240,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
11. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward



240,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: George Rose, Getty Images

Image 15 of 28

Image 16 of 28
10. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale



250,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

10. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale



250,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Jeff Overs, Getty Images

Image 17 of 28
9. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario



250,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
9. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario



250,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Stan Lim, Associated Press

Image 18 of 28
8. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell



250,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
8. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell



250,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Giorgio Fochesato, Getty Images

Image 19 of 28
7. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria

400,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
7. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria

400,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: SAUL LOEB, Getty Images

Image 20 of 28

Image 21 of 28
6. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin

425,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
6. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin

425,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: TIM SLOAN/AFP, AFP/Getty Images

Image 22 of 28
5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach

450,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach

450,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Raimund Koch, Getty Images

Image 23 of 28
4. Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington

475,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
4. Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington

475,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Jeremy Woodhouse, Getty Images

Image 24 of 28
3. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land

575,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014
3. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land

575,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Smiley N. Pool, Staff

Image 25 of 28

Image 26 of 28
2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim

1 million undocumented immigrants in 2014
2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim

1 million undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Narvikk, Getty Images

Image 27 of 28
1. New York-Newark-Jersey City

1.15 million undocumented immigrants in 2014
1. New York-Newark-Jersey City

1.15 million undocumented immigrants in 2014

Photo: Julio Cortez, AP

Image 28 of 28

ICE to see car locations through Bay Area firm’s license plate database
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Vigilant Solutions is one of the country’s biggest vendors of license plate readers and databases of scanned plates. A number of Bay Area agencies work with the company, including police in Antioch, Dublin, Mill Valley and Alameda, as well as the California Highway Patrol.

The technology is touted by law enforcement officials as a helpful way to track down stolen cars and pinpoint the location and movements of suspected criminals. But the devices — and the growth of multiagency databases — have raised concerns from privacy advocates, who have argued the surveillance measures are unconstitutional.

Schwab said ICE officers will use the database for investigative purposes but not contribute to it.

Matt Pera, a spokesman for Vigilant Solutions, said in a statement that the company does not comment on individual contracts.

Sophie Haigney is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: sophie.haigney@

sfchronicle.com Twitter: @SophieHaigney

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