1BUV Global News No Ads or Trackers
No Ads or Trackers
Trump Homeland Security Outed Immigrants to Right-Wing Media, Violating Federal Rules, Says Democracy Forward

Trump Homeland Security Outed Immigrants to Right-Wing Media, Violating Federal Rules, Says Democracy Forward

A Democratic group has accused the Department of Homeland Security of violating federal regulations by revealing private information about immigrants to reporters at conservative news outlets.

On Monday, Democracy Forward, a left-leaning anti-corruption advocacy group, sent a letter to the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties requesting that the agency open an investigation into the department’s press office.

The organization said that according to emails obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, DHS communications staff had on at least ten occasions provided or confirmed to reporters details about the citizenship and immigration status of people accused of crimes in the U.S. Such disclosures, Democracy Forward alleged in its letter, may have violated federal regulations prohibiting the department from disclosing private information about individuals to the media. 

“These instances suggest that DHS press officials may regularly disregard applicable restrictions on disclosure of PII. These DHS officials seem motivated primarily by an interest in advancing a narrative that immigrants, even those legally within the United States, are criminals—an improper consideration that should not factor into the required balancing analysis,” the letter said.

In a review of emails obtained via the FOIA requests, Democracy Forward found that DHS actively lobbied willing conservative media outlets, including Fox News and Breitbart News, to aggressively report on crimes specifically alleged to have been committed by immigrants. In the process of collaborating with those outlets, the office possibly disclosed details about the citizenship, immigration status, and criminal history of individuals accused of crimes.

On one such occasion in 2018, the DHS communications office urged a Fox News reporter to include that an Iraqi man accused of shooting a police officer was a refugee, and provided details on background about the alleged shooter’s immigration status.

“The news here is that he is a refugee. It is not mentioned. That is new,” said the communications official, whose name was redacted in the FOIA emails. 

On numerous occasions, a reporter at Breitbart News solicited information from DHS about various crimes, inquiring whether individuals were chain migrants or had overstayed their visas. The department said regularly they would “run the traps” to see if the alleged criminal was from the U.S. 

Democracy Forward argued that these disclosures—and others unearthed in the FOIA emails—violated the Privacy Act, which, with a few law-enforcement exceptions prohibits the government from releasing personal identifying information. The group also claimed that the disclosures violated the department’s policy not to release personally identifying information without performing an analysis of the information’s relevance to the public. 

Source link

Leave a comment

1BUV Global News