The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for restrictions being placed on individuals capturing photos and video at ports of entry across the U.S.-Mexico border. The lawsuit is based on a case when two activists allege authorities confiscated a camera and later deleted their photos at the California/Mexico border crossing.
The lawsuit said plaintiff Ray Askins took photos of an inspection area at a Calexico border crossing in April from a city street. After being handcuffed and searched, authorities returned his digital camera with photos erased.
The Calexico port director, Billy Whitford, told Askins in an email the next day that permission is needed to take photos and video at Customs and Border Protection facilities. The email makes no mention of restrictions on taking photos from a nearby street.
Mexico has just expanded new lanes to the busiest land border crossing in the world, from Tijuana to San Diego. The U.S. side is still waiting for funds to be appropriated from Congress.