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University College London

Prof: Shame Border Patrol Agents Out Of Their Jobs



Kate Cronin-Furman, a human rights professor at University College London, recently wrote an op-ed in The New York Times saying “the identities of the individual Customs and Border Protection agents who are physically separating children from their families and staffing the detention centers are not undiscoverable. Immigration lawyers have agent names; journalists reporting at the border have names, photos and even videos. These agents’ actions should be publicized, particularly in their home communities,” reported Campus Reform.

OK so I really, really try to be careful when I use the term “doxxing” because some people use it to refer to info that’s already public but boosted by journalists or Twitter activists. But what exactly is public? If immigration lawyers share names of Border Patrol agents, which I’d argue is privileged information — they only have it by virtue of their job — what’s the difference between that and me sharing the name of my private citizen friend who I know from ping pong practice?

Kate continues “the knowledge, for instance, that when you go to church on Sunday, your entire congregation will have seen you on TV ripping a child out of her father’s arms is a serious social cost to bear. The desire to avoid this kind of social shame may be enough to persuade some agents to quit and may hinder the recruitment of replacements.”

Of course, when Kate says “shame,” she isn’t just referring to some abstract concept. If I had to speculate, Border Patrol agents in her scenario aren’t just going to say “oh, well, people have a totally misguided notion of my job — guess I better quit.” No, you’d probably see harassment resembling what happened to former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Senator Ted Cruz when they dared to eat in public, if not actual violence like with what happened to Andy Ngo in Portland last weekend.


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