The Trump administration reportedly keeps a database of journalists, activists and social media influencers who have ties to the migrant caravan.
The database, called “San Diego Sector Foreign Operations Branch: Migrant Caravan FY-2019 Suspected Organizers, Coordinators, Instigators, and Media,” listed 10 reporters, a lawyer and 47 others as “people who officials think should be targeted for screening at the border,” according to NBC San Diego.
Along with names were photos — either from passports or social media — date of birth, “country of commencement” and their ties to the caravan. Dossiers were also reportedly created for each person with help from Mexican officials.
A colored “X” on the photo designated an arrest, an interview, or a visa revocation, according to NBC San Diego.
At least 21 of the 59 were reportedly arrested.
“We are a criminal investigation agency, we’re not an intelligence agency,” a Homeland Security source told the outlet. “We can’t create dossiers on people and they’re creating dossiers. This is an abuse of the Border Search Authority.”
Multiple journalists told NBC San Diego that they were detained crossing the border in one or both directions, including freelance photographer Kitra Cahana, a U.S. citizen who said she was detained for 13 hours without her phone or being allowed to call the embassy before eventually being denied entry into Mexico.
Days after initially telling NBC San Diego that it’s “protocol” to “collect evidence that might be needed for future legal actions and to determine if the event was orchestrated,” a Customs and Border Protection spokesman told NBC News that everyone named in the database was present during a November brawl at the Tijuana border and that the agency was trying to determine what caused the incident.
On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Border Patrol agents in riot gear fired tear gas across the border into a group of migrants, including women and children, who tried to breach the fence.
” DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness & will not hesitate to shut down POEs [ports of entry] for security reasons,” Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of Homeland Security, said in a statement. “We’ll seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators or violates our sovereignty.”
President Trump had previously given troops to “use lethal force” if necessary. ___
This article is written by Kate Feldman from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.