A group of journalists attempted to gain access to a Border Patrol migrant processing center by claiming to be translators. One succeeded in getting “fraudulent access” into the building, federal officials stated.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials said “several journalists” claimed to be translators in order to gain access to illegal immigrants being processed by Border Patrol agents after they illegally crossed the border from Mexico. Two were identified as journalists by officials and turned away. However, a third successfully gained entry on Tuesday and made their way “fraudulently” into the processing center during a time scheduled for attorney-client privileged meetings, CBP officials stated.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection is committed to being transparent and accountable to the public,” CBP Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs Andrew Meehan said in a written statement. “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.”
“Yesterday, without going through the established protocols, several journalists posed as translators in an attempt to gain access to the Yuma Centralized Processing Center,” the commissioner stated. “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,” he expressed. “CBP is committed to working with the media while ensuring that operational flexibility is maintained and privacy interests are protected.”
“Over the past several weeks, CBP worked to ensure that members of the media have access to CBP’s Centralized Processing Centers,” Commissioner Meehan continued. “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.”
The commissioner also said that CBP officials “must also consider the privacy interests of individuals held at the facilities.”
In recent weeks, CBP has opened the doors to detention centers for unaccompanied minors and for migrant processing centers. Breitbart News reporters have been invited to attend two such tours in Texas and California.
“CBP officials are walking the line to maintain a balance of these interests while maintaining a commitment to accountability and transparency,” Meehan stated.
CBP officials did not publicly identify the journalists or their affiliations. They also did not report if any criminal charges are pending against the journalist who allegedly gained entry into the Yuma center.