Californians Aware joined a coalition of more than 100 organizations on Thursday in urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to cease targeting of activists, journalists, and lawyers based on their First Amendment-protected speech and associational activities.
The coalition letter, organized by the Center for Democracy and Technology, demands that DHS address alarming reports of surveillance activity by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that jeopardizes First Amendment rights and access to legal counsel, and may violate the Privacy Act of 1974.
As noted in the letter, ICE documented and disseminated lists of “Anti-Trump” protests in New York City. In addition, CBP allegedly targeted and created dossiers on activists, lawyers, and journalists working with and reporting on asylum seekers. First-hand accounts revealed a pattern of harassment including extended detentions and interrogations, electronic device searches at ports of entry, and denial of re-entry to Mexico.
CalAware reported last September on litigation against such interferences at the Calexico and San Diego ports of entry.
The coalition is demanding that DHS cease unlawful targeting, monitoring, and harassment of activists, journalists, and lawyers at the border, and disclose the policies, guidelines, and training materials that govern these activities.