journalists, ACLU, DHS, lawsuit
The ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of five freelance journalists against the Department of Homeland Security for allegedly following and interrogating them. (Photo by Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock)

ACLU Files Lawsuit Against DHS on Behalf of Journalists for Tracking, Interrogating Them

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of five freelance journalists against the Department of Homeland Security for allegedly following and interrogating them. All five are U.S. citizens and were working on a story about a group of migrants making their way to the border between November 2018 and January 2019.

The photojournalists — Bing Guan, Go Nakamura, Kitra Cahana, Ariana Drehsler and Mark Abramson — were allegedly inspected twice when attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. They also were questioned about their work.

In the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the ACLU has asked the courts to rule that DHS violated the First Amendment, should grant relief to the journalists and delete records and information gotten through “unlawful questioning.”

Related Article: Trump Administration Plans to Livestream Building of Border Wall

Guan and Nakamura were asked by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in December 2018 to show photos on their cameras and were shown photos of people and asked if they knew these “instigators,” according to the ACLU.

In March, San Diego’s NBC 7 reported it had documents showing that CBP had a list of people to pull aside and question at the border — including the five journalists. According to the reporting, those documents included a photo and identifying information.

“When I saw my photo crossed out in a secret government database, I realized the secondary screening and interrogation weren’t random,” Guan said in a statement. “I was being targeted by my own government for reporting on conditions at the border.”

But CBP has largely denied tracking and interrogating the journalists. CBP told CNN earlier this year that it only chose people who may have had information about “incidents” on the border.

“CBP does not target journalists for inspection based on their occupation or their reporting. CBP has policies in place that prohibit discrimination against arriving travelers and has specific provisions regarding encounters with journalists,” then-agency spokesman Andrew Meehan said.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Latest News

AIG’s Alessa Quane Honored on IBA Hot 100

This year, IBA Hot 100 honored Alessa Quane(Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer) for her leadership and notable contributions to the insurance industry. The annual list, now in its seventh year, fielded through hundreds of peer nominations before IBA’s editorial group honed in on the 100 industry leaders who…

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 67,000 Jobs in November

Originally posted on Private sector employment increased by 67,000 jobs from October to November according to the November ADP National Employment Report®.  Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP National Employment Report is produced by the ADP Research Institute® in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics.  The report, which is derived…

Building More Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces

Originally published on by Candace Rivera. Over the past several years, corporate business resource groups – employee-led groups of volunteers who work together to strengthen inclusion and diversity – have evolved from networking groups to proactive enablers which support an organization’s business strategy and talent management agendas. It’s an…

Nielsen Welcomes Sandra Sims-Williams As Senior Vice President Of Diversity & Inclusion

Originally published on Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) today announced that Sandra Sims-Williams will join the company as Senior Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), beginning January, 2020. In this role, Ms. Sims-Williams will lead Nielsen’s D&I strategy and teams for both the Media and Connect sides of the business, through Nielsen’s transition…

Humana Announces New Care Coordination Services for Members with Kidney Disease

Originally posted on Designed To Improve the Patient Experience and Health Outcomes, Services to be Available Initially in Four States Leading health and well-being company Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) Monogram Health and Somatus, Humana will offer care coordination to better diagnose and manage kidney disease toward improving members’ quality of life and…

Bayer to Significantly Step-up its Sustainability Efforts

Originally posted on 2030 target to be carbon neutral in own operations / Ambitious 2030 objectives for access to health and nutrition in low- and middle-income countries and underserved communities / Measurable sustainability targets to be incorporated into management compensation Bayer has announced a set of comprehensive sustainability measures…