‘Outrageous Violation of First Amendment’: Leaked Docs Reveal Trump Tracked Journalists and Rights Advocates at Border
By Eoin Higgins, staff writer, Published on Thursday, March 07, 2019 by Common Dreams https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/07/outrageous-violation-first-amendment-leaked-docs-reveal-trump-tracked-journalists
Monitoring and intimidation program denounced by one reporter as “deeply disturbing.”
“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.” — ACLU
The government is keeping a list of journalists and “instigators” that were involved with the so- called migrant caravan from the last months of 2018 and early 2019 in a database.
That’s according to reporting from NBC7 San Diego Wednesday evening that showed how the President Donald Trump administration is targeting opponents to its deportation and immigration policies.
The reporting is based on documents provided to the local NBC affiliate by a “Homeland Security source on the condition of anonymity.” Dated Jan. 9, the documents–entitled “San Diego Sector Foreign Operations Branch: Migrant Caravan FY-2019, Suspected Organizers, Coordinators, Instigators and Media”–offer details of a program called “Operation Secure Line.”
The source said the documents or screenshots show a SharePoint application that was used by agents from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations and some agents from the San Diego sector of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
Each person identified in the document has a headshot followed by their name, date of birth, role in the caravan, “country of commencement,” and the date of their interview (or prospective interview) by government officials.
CBP told NBC7 in a series of statements that the agency believed the targets of the list were involved in border violence, and thus needed to be monitored.
“Criminal events, such as the breach of the border wall in San Diego involving assaults on law enforcement and a risk to public safety, are routinely monitored and investigated by authorities,” said CBP’s statement.
In comment to Buzzfeed News immigration reporter Hamed Aleaziz, ICE distanced itself from the program, saying, “it is hard to support this activity.”
Read on at your convenience with the downloadable pdf below…