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The US government prepared dossiers on journalists reporting on the caravan for 2018 migrants, as well as on activists and other people involved in the event. The agents used the database to attack people for secondary screenings, according to a San Diego television station. A source from the Department of Homeland Security has provided joint evidence for the intercontinental project that focuses on the US Southwestern border.
The report on the federal database comes after journalists have complained for several months that they have been singled out either at border crossings for lengthy secondary demonstrations or, in one case, denying entry into Mexico.
In response to the KNSD-TV report, a spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection refused to approve or reject the US government's documents. 19659008] In a statement to the NPR, the spokesman cited the caravan and said, following recent migrants' attempts to cross the border illegally near San Diego: "It's prot ocol followed up these incidents to gather evidence that for future legal action may be required and to determine if the event has been staged. "
One goal of the CBP response, the spokesman said, is" future incidents "An Effort Involving Federal Officials Conducting Interviews and Investigations. However, the source of KNSD at Homeland Security says the government is exceeding its legal limits by creating the database.
"We are a criminal police, we are not a secret service," the source quotes. "We can not create dossiers for people and they create dossiers, which is an abuse of the Border Search Authority."
When the existence of the database revealed, KNSD-TV published images of the dossier on a computer screen. with inscriptions such as "organizer", "instigator" and "journalist" attached to personal records. Each entry has photos – apparently extracted from passports – of biographical data and information, such as whether a person's passport is displayed as an indication of secondary performance.
One of the journalists who appear in the dossiers is the photojournalist Ariana Drehsler, who lives near the border in San Diego. After months of crossing the border in Tijuana to photograph asylum seekers in Mexico, Drehsler suddenly became the focus of border authorities in December, when she was repeatedly drawn into a secondary screening interview.
"They wanted to know who" I was working for and what I saw, "Drehsler told NPR in February." They focused on the accommodations and on illegal crossing. "
After she learned that she was in the Government documents, Drehsler spoke with KQED's reporter Julie Small acknowledging that the encounters prompted her to change her work habits, especially after she was asked to leave some of her equipment in another room from which she was interviewed, "I actually stopped wearing my laptop," said Drehsler, because I was afraid that they would go through my laptop because they have the right, I mean, CBP has the right, you I do not have a problem with that, but I have a problem when they went to my phone or looked through my notes or my laptop or my photos on my camera. "[1 9659008] Photojournalist Kitra Cahana is also on the list. In an interview with KNSD, she described how officials at airports repeatedly questioned her in January when she tried to fly from Mexico to Mexico with a connecting flight in Detroit. When she arrived in Mexico City, she was questioned again before being denied entry to Mexico. She had to fly back to Detroit instead.
Recent leaked documents are seen as confirming a phenomenon highlighted by the Committee on the Protection of Journalists and Reporters Without Borders last October when they warned against a potential deterrent to border and immigration reporting.
Organizations warned of a daunting prospect, "thanks to the extensive powers of Customs and Border Guard agents who can search electronic devices without warranty and interview reporters about past and current work."
On Thursday, CPJ's North American program coordinator Alexandra Ellerbeck made a statement: "We will meet with CBP today and once again ask them to stop using secondary screenings as a pretext to harass journalists or provide information collect."
She added The group also asks Congress to use the regulator for investigation.
Dossiers include "ten journalists, seven of whom are U" S citizens, one US lawyer and 47 people from the US and other countries, "says KNSD, adding," The target list includes advocates from organizations such as Border Angels and Pueblo Sin Fronteras. "
Revelations about the dossier led the American Civil Liberties Union to cite" an outrageous violation of the First Amendment. "
This is According to the lawyer of ACLU, Esha Bhandari He added, "The government can not use the pretext of the border to attack activists who are critical of their policies, lawyers who provide legal assistance, or journalists who just do their jobs."