Trump administration kept secret database targeting journalists and immigration activists at US-Mexico border
9 March 2019
A series of documents released to NBC 7 San Diego revealed the Trump administration was using a secret database to spy on journalists and immigration activists as they crossed the US-Mexico border to cover last year’s caravan of immigrants from Central America. The database was used to place alerts on passports and deny entry into Mexico.
Journalists and others aiding the caravan reported being under increased scrutiny every time they crossed the San Ysidro port of entry but had no way to prove they were being singled out for secondary inspections. The release of the documents proves that the attacks on immigrants are being increasingly used to attack the democratic rights of all workers, regardless of national origin.
The documents leaked to NBC 7 show that the government listed the names of the targets in a database with other personal information as well. The documents, given anonymously, show screenshots from a SharePoint application that was used by a coalition of government agencies including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the US Border Patrol, and the San Diego sector of the FBI.
The spying was done under the codename “Operation Secure Line,” which according to the anonymous source was specially created to monitor the migrant caravan. The document explicitly lists individuals who should be targeted for screening at the border.
The targets included 10 journalists, seven of whom are US citizens, an attorney, and 48 others from the US and other countries labeled “organizers,” “instigators,” or simply “unknown.” Some of the activists were immigrant rights groups…