CBP Letter Prompts the Question: Is DHS Criminalizing Compassion and Association?

Authorities at the U.S. border are arguing that journalists who report on asylum seekers, and the lawyers and activists who advise them, are legitimate targets for investigation under 8 U.S. Code §1324 for the crime of illegally “encouraging” aliens to cross the border unlawfully. This alleged crime justifies the targeting of these individuals for surveillance, and may be tied to the search and detention of their electronic devices at ports of entry. That’s the message U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) delivered in a May 9th letter to the Center for Democracy & Technology, which responded to the coalition letter we sent the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about a pattern of enforcement activity that appears to target journalists, lawyers and activists associated with asylum seekers. 8 U.S. Code §1324 makes it a federal crime to bring in or encourage an undocumented person to come into the U.S., or to harbor, transport, or conceal…

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