Trump Regime Compiles List of Journalists, Lawyers, and Immigration Activists to Question at Border

[Content Note: Authoritarianism; nativism.]

This is utterly chilling: Officials with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) compiled a list of dozens of journalists, lawyers, and immigration activists with the directive for border agents to stop them for questioning when crossing the U.S. border with Mexico at San Diego-area checkpoints.

The list was distributed with names, photos, and personal information. Some of the reporters and advocates are foreigners or foreign nationals, but the majority of them are Americans. The list describes them as "Suspected Organizers, Coordinators, Instigators, and Media."

At least 21 of them have been questioned or even arrested.

This is rank authoritarian intimidation right at the intersection of the Trump Regime's wars on the press, immigrants, and dissidents.

Julia Ainsley at NBC News reports:
Several people on the list confirmed to NBC News that they had been pulled aside at the border after the date the list was compiled and were told they were being questioned as part of a "national security investigation."

CBP told NBC News the names on the list are people who were present during violence that broke out at the border with Tijuana in November and they were being questioned so that the agency could learn more about what started it.

In a statement, the ACLU's Esha Bandhari said the rights group is "exploring all options in response."

"This is an outrageous violation of the First Amendment," said Bhandari, staff attorney with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. "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."

The list, dated Jan. 9, 2019, is titled "San Diego Sector Foreign Operations Branch: Migrant Caravan FY-2019 Suspected Organizers, Coordinators, Instigators, and Media" and includes pictures of the 59 individuals who are to be stopped. The people on the list were to be pulled aside by Customs and Border Protection agents for questioning when they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border to meet with or aid migrants from the Honduran caravan waiting on the Mexican side of the border.

The list includes 10 journalists, seven of them U.S. citizens, a U.S.-based attorney and others labeled as organizers and "instigators," 31 of whom are American. Symbols on the list show that by the time it was compiled 12 of the individuals had already been through additional questioning during border crossings and nine had been arrested.

In some cases, CBP had also compiled dossiers on the individuals with the help of intelligence from Mexican officials, according to the materials obtained by KNSD.
Dossiers on instigators. It's breathtaking.

Let me note once again: This administration's vile nativist agenda treats migrants, refugees, and their advocates as the collective canary in their coal mine.

The targeting and intimidation of journalists, lawyers, and immigration activists under the auspices of "national security" is intolerable on its face, but understand that whatever the Trump Regime is doing to people at the southern border, they will expand to the broader population eventually.

We must resist these authoritarian strategies not only because they are cruel and indecent and unjust, but also because if we fail to resist them, they will proliferate.

Time to make some noise. Call your Senators and rep. Share this story to make other people aware of what's happening. Resist.

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