March 19, 2019
A journalist and four immigration lawyers were stopped and questioned at the border in recent months, and at least one was asked about their political beliefs, NBC News reported Monday.
The four told NBC they were questioned at U.S.-Mexico border stations in Arizona and Texas.
NBC reports that their questioning comes in addition to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) watch list of 59 lawyers, journalists and othersthat was previously uncovered by NBC 7 San Diego.
A CBP spokesperson had told NBC previously that the watch list was specific to San Diego.
Taylor Levy and Hector Ruiz, who give legal aid to asylum-seekers and whose names do not reportedly appear on the San Diego list, said they were questioned near El Paso, Texas.
Ruiz told NBC that agents who said they work on criminal and terrorism cases asked him about his political beliefs, specifically what he thinks of the Trump administration.
“They asked me what my opinion was on the administration, just generally. And how we are doing economically,” he said.
Levy said she was told she would be arrested if she did not answer agents’ questions and was told she could not speak with an attorney. Both said they were detained for hours.