(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Vice Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a member of the House Intelligence Committee and House Education and Labor Committee, in requesting information regarding Operation Secure Line—a government program that allowed for tracking of more than 50 journalists, U.S. attorneys, and volunteers by the United States and Mexican governments. In a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, 18 Members of Congress specifically asked for information on what authorities and criteria were used in this program, what information was specifically collected and under what criteria, and communications between the U.S. and Mexico throughout the program.
“Operation Secure Line not only appears invasive, if reports are true, it is also unconstitutional. Free press is a hallmark of our country’s founding,” the Members wrote.
The Members of Congress continued: “The fact that DHS would track U.S. journalists, attorneys and volunteers attempting to do their jobs when they have committed no crime is deeply concerning. Singling them out precisely because of their constitutionally protected speech strikes at the core of the values embodied by the First Amendment.”
The full list of additional co-signers includes Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32); Juan Vargas (CA-51); Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44); Veronica Escobar (TX-16); Ilhan Omar (MN-05); Adrianno Espaillat (NY-13); Jamie Raskin (MD-08); Nydia Velázquez (NY-07); Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38); Norma J. Torres (CA-35); Pete Aguilar (CA-31); Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04); Darren Soto (FL-09); Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14); Tony Cárdenas (CA-29); Gil Cisneros (CA-39); Albio Sires (NJ-08); and Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03).
A signed copy of the letter is available here.