For almost a year, women detainees in an immigration detention center in Ocilla, Georgia have tried to call public attention to a pattern of medical neglect and mistreatment, many at the risk of deportation. The pattern of retaliation led to what might at first sound like a paradox: a free-speech group asking the court to block public access to records.
The suit, filed on behalf of two documentary film organizations, argues that the registration requirement violates the First Amendment, is too broad in scope, and has not been proven to be necessary to national security interests.
The civil liberties groups brought the case on behalf of five photojournalists who traveled to Mexico last year to document migrants' efforts to reach the U.S.-Mexico border. In addition to lengthy interrogation, some of the journalists say border officers compelled them to disclose photographs and notes they had taken as part of their reporting.
An NBC affiliate in San Diego and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a suit under the Freedom of Information Act in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against four federal agencies. The complaint filed against the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Citizenship and Immigration Services seeks to obtain records requested in a March, 2019 FOIA concerning an alleged secret database the federal government had created on journalists covering immigration issues at the US and Mexico border.