A judge ordered CBP to report on Terrorism Tactical Response Teams operating “in secret”
NEW YORK – A New York judge ordered Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Wednesday to release information about a secret team of agents searching, detaining and questioning innocent travelers at ports of entry to the country.
The action is the result of a lawsuit filed against CBP in 2019 by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the CLEAR consultancy of the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, which requested compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
According to a statement from the organizations, which considered the court order a further step towards transparency, the CBP has to report on the Terrorism Tactical Response Teams that act “in secret” and are deployed in at least 46 airports and other ports of entry. To USA.
They pointed out that the CBP has admitted that these teams look for people who are not in the crosshairs of the federal government and are not considered a security risk, and even select them based on “instincts” and hunches, in the words of the former chief of police. the agency, Kevin McAleelan.
In this sense, the organizations denounce that this way of selecting their targets lends itself to discriminatory biases based on race, origin, ethnicity or religion, which go against the law, and can lead to arrests or interrogations for issues such as speech or associations.
They also question agents’ due process and impartiality should information they have “improperly” obtained from travelers lead to increased government scrutiny, or their inclusion on a target list.
“We look forward to learning more about why these teams have subjected hundreds of thousands of passengers, including US citizens, to border interrogation and detention” and whether their activity is constitutional, said Scarlet Kim, a senior attorney with the Project. ACLU Homeland Security.
For his part, CUNY law associate professor Tarek Ismail, who works for the CLEAR consultancy, indicated that since their creation in 2016, these secret CBP teams have “prevented” thousands of visa travelers from entering the United States. and have subjected many others to “invasive” interrogations.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.