(ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION) Federal authorities discussed combing through state driver license records and traffic tickets as they scrambled to boost the number of criminal illegal immigrants deported from Georgia and other states last year, records show.

Emails sent by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to regional offices in Atlanta and other cities show the agency also considered sending officers to local traffic safety checkpoints and jails. One revelation in the emails: ICE’s Atlanta office was chastised as a laggard in the quest to hit deportation targets and keep the paymasters in Congress happy.

ICE officials say they ultimately did not move forward with most of the ideas for netting more criminals. Still, the prospect of random inquiries, with the potential to affect many blameless people, has alarmed civil and immigrant rights activists. They worry such tactics would violate privacy and lead to racial profiling.

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