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US Migrant activists sue Trump administration over surveillance, harassment at border

02:55  17 october  2019
02:55  17 october  2019 Source:   azcentral.com

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TUCSON — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Tucson on behalf of three migrant activists, all U.S. citizens, who accuse President Donald Trump's administration of surveilling and harassing them because they work with migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona and California.

Two of the activists, Alex Mensing and Jeff Valenzuela, are members of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, an advocacy group that helped organize several migrant caravans through Mexico, on their way to the U.S. border to claim asylum. The caravans drew Trump's ire, especially as the largest one reached Tijuana in November 2018.

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The Trump administration has put a public and concerted focus on detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants, and some of Migrant But the alleged infiltration and surveillance of the organization predates Trump 's tenure, the lawsuit says, claiming Migrant Justice has been targeted

Six Honduran refugees and migrants are suing President Donald Trump , Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and other administration officials over their policies against the migrant caravan approaching the US border . The class-action lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Washington DC.

The third plaintiff is Ana Adlerstein, a reporter and humanitarian aid volunteer based in Ajo, a small community in southwestern Arizona about 40 miles north of the border. Her recent work has focused mainly on covering "the challenges asylum seekers and humanitarian actors face in Southern Arizona," according to the complaint.

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The lawsuit alleges that the federal government — specifically, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI — "unlawfully surveils and seizes United States citizen activists at the border."

The ACLU lists in the complaint several leaked government memos as proof that the Trump administration had been monitoring the work of migrant advocacy groups along the border. It cited a "secret database" ICE compiled of advocates and reporters in connection to the 10,000-member caravan that arrived to Tijuana in November.

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«» La Mesa Pastor Sues Government Over Border Surveillance Program. Controversial Surveillance Program. Human rights workers including activists , journalists, lawyers, and a priest allege that U.S. authorities harassed and intimidated them because of their work with asylum seekers.

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The lawsuit asks for an injunction that orders the U.S. government to "cease their suspicionless detentions, arrests, interrogations, and physical restraints of Plaintiffs at the border" and to expunge all records and information gathered on the activists.

The Arizona Republic has reached out to CBP, ICE and the FBI for comment.

The FBI declined to comment because the lawsuit is pending. The other two agencies have not responded.

Have any news tips or story ideas about the U.S.-Mexico border? Reach the reporter at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter at @RafaelCarranza.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Migrant activists sue Trump administration over surveillance, harassment at border

1,500 more families were separated under Trump than previously known .
"Those are 1,600 hundred families we'll now have to find and search all over the world for," Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney, told CBS NewsComplying with a court-approved demand from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to account for previously undisclosed family separations, the Trump administration told the U.S. district court in San Diego that it identified an additional 1,556 migrant children that it separated from their parents, according to the ACLU.

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