ACLU Statement on Report of Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates at Border

March 6, 2019 9:30 pm

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NEW YORK — 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.”

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