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Journalist Gains Access to CBP Facility by Posing as a Translator

Release Date: 
June 26, 2018

YUMA, Ariz. – Yesterday, several journalists attempted to gain access to the Yuma Centralized Processing Center by representing themselves as translators during a previously-scheduled  attorney-client privileged visitation.  Two of them were identified as journalists and turned away at the door however, the third subject fraudulently gained access into the facility.

The following can be attributed to Andrew Meehan, Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs, U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is committed to being transparent and accountable to the public. It is critical to our mission. CBP regularly engages with members of the media, nongovernmental organizations, and members of Congress to maintain the trust of the public. Over the past several weeks, CBP has worked tirelessly to ensure that members of the media have access to CBP’s Centralized Processing Centers.  Tours of these facilities pose operational challenges by limiting the agency’s ability to process migrants expeditiously and move them through the next phase of the process. CBP must also consider the privacy interests of individuals held at the facilities.  In an effort to balance these interests while maintaining a commitment to accountability and transparency, CBP has established a protocol to allow for members of the media to receive tours of the CPCs.  CBP has also released video and pictures of the CPCs to assist the media in telling their story.

Yesterday, without going through the established protocols, several journalists posed as translators in an attempt to gain access to the Yuma Centralized Processing Center. This breach in security was unnecessary, violated our good faith efforts to work together on important stories and put everyone at risk. We are disappointed in the journalist as well as the network for this behavior. CBP is committed to working with the media while ensuring that operational flexibility is maintained and privacy interests are protected.

Last modified: 
June 26, 2018