March 7, 2019, Congressman Thompson and Congresswoman Rice wrote letter about concerns that the United States is targeting journalists, lawyers, and advocates, calling them "Targeted Individuals."
This could be the best evidence yet. Finally in March of 2019, the United States was caught "targeting" a class of people that the government did not like. They were put on a list to send them to secondary screenings, monitored their social media accounts, and creating dossiers (list of documents) on them.
Mar 7, 2019 Correspondence(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, & Operations, sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to demand answers about new reports of a list CBP is using to stop, detain, question, and search reporters, attorneys, and advocates at the southern border. In the letter, Chairs Thompson and Rice request the list, any dossiers of those on the list, and the reasons why individuals were placed on the list.
We are writing to express our great concern about a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) list the agency is using to stop, detain, question, and search 59 reporters, attorneys, and advocates, most of whom are U.S. citizens, at the southern border. Further, we are requesting information about this troubling practice, which raises serious legal and constitutional questions.
The document includes photos and instructions for CBP officers to stop the 59 individuals if they cross the border, and interviews with targeted individuals confirm they are being stopped for secondary inspection. Some individuals have even been required to allow CBP officers to search their cell phones before being released.
The appearance that CBP is targeting journalists, lawyers, and advocates, and particularly those who work on immigration matters or report on border and immigration issues, raises questions about possible misuse of CBP’s border search authority and requires oversight to ensure the protection of Americans’ legal and constitutional rights.
ACLU Statement on Report of U.S. Government targeting journalists, activists, and lawyers.
The U.S. government is reportedly targeting journalists, activists, and lawyers reporting on, aiding, or representing migrants at the southern border by sending them to secondary screening, monitoring their social media accounts, or creating dossiers on them.
Esha Bhandari, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, issued the following statement in response:
“This is an outrageous violation of the First Amendment. The government cannot use the pretext of the border to target activists critical of its policies, lawyers providing legal representation, or journalists simply doing their jobs. We are exploring all options in response.”
Mitra Ebadolahi, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of San Diego’s Border Litigation Project, said:
“For years, the U.S. government has used the pretext of ‘border’ security to trample on Americans’ constitutional rights. This most recent example is just the latest in a steady stream of CBP abuse of authority, and once again underscores the dire need for meaningful agency oversight and accountability.”