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OIG: CBP targeted Americans, inadvertently failed to comply with policy

According to an OIG report, many U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials were unaware of...
According to an OIG report, many U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials were unaware of policy related to placing lookouts.(Source: AP | Source: AP)
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 11:01 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A report from the Office of Inspector General says U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials were unaware of policy and may have inadvertently placed lookouts on some U.S. citizens. These travelers were suspected of being associated with the 2018-2019 migrant caravan.

The highlights of the report are below:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials placed lookouts on U.S. travelers suspected of potential criminal activity. However, many CBP officials were unaware of CBP’s policy related to placing lookouts. Therefore, CBP may have inadvertently placed lookouts on U.S. citizens suspected of organizing or being associated with the migrant caravan, which did not fully comply with policy. Additionally, CBP officials did not remove lookouts promptly. As a result, CBP subjected some individuals to repeated and unnecessary secondary inspections.

In addition, in December 2018, a CBP official asked Mexico to deny entry to caravan associates, including 14 U.S. citizens. Unlike CBP’s legitimate reasons for placing lookouts on these individuals, CBP had no genuine basis for asking Mexico to deny entry to these U.S. citizens. On several other occasions throughout Operation Secure Line, other CBP officials also improperly shared the sensitive information of U.S. citizens with Mexico. Some of these CBP officials may have asked Mexico to deny entry to these individuals, but we could not determine whether they did, because CBP officials were not forthcoming about the disclosures, did not follow CBP policies on sharing information with foreign entities, and did not retain communication records.

The entire report, including OIG’s recommendations with which CBP concurred, can be found HERE.

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