Internal advocates for joining the America’s spy agencies—known as the Intelligence Community or the IC—focus on the potential benefits to the agency’s work on counterproliferation, money laundering, counterterror, and cybercrime. The official added that joining the IC could also be useful for the agency’s immigration enforcement work––in particular, their efforts to find and arrest undocumented immigrants with criminal arrest warrants (known in ICE as fugitive aliens).

But civil liberties advocates and government watchdog groups—as well as some current and former U.S. officials—are concerned at the prospect of the nation’s immigration enforcers joining the ranks of America’s spies.

“The idea that ICE could potentially get access to warrantless surveillance is frankly terrifying,” Jake Laperruque, senior counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, told The Daily Beast.