The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) reports outrageous harassment, intimidation, and physical abuse of lawyers and human rights activists doing essential work on both side of the U.S.-Mexico border at a time when the Trump/Pence regime is violently attacking migrants, denying people the right to apply for asylum, demonizing and terrorizing immigrants, and tearing children – even babies – from their parents. These attacks on legal professionals and human rights activists must end! And this fascist regime must be driven from power by mass protest in the streets. Those who are taking a courageous stand to defend the human and legal rights of migrants and immigrants must be defended.
Our clients at Al Otro Lado recently began to be harassed and detained by officials at the U.S.-Mexico border. Al Otro Lado is an organization that provides legal services and know-your-rights training to immigrants. Suddenly the lawyers were being detained and questioned for hours, having alerts placed on their U.S. passports, and getting travel documents revoked without explanation. One was detained with her seven-year-old daughter in a cell with no food or water for more than eight hours. It was clear that the harassment was in retaliation for their legal work helping people seeking asylum and our lawsuit around it, but then the news broke that the government has created dossiers on activists, lawyers, and journalists they think are causing trouble along the Southern Border, and our clients were on the list. The dossiers are shared among multiple agencies and raise the specter of COINTELPRO and past government campaigns of intimidation, infiltration, harassment and worse against activists fighting for social justice. We are seeking more information with the court.