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U.S. pays undercover informants to spy on migrants

U.S. pays undercover informants to spy on migrants. Photo: Reuters

 U.S. pays undercover informants to spy on migrants.  Photo: Reuters

Washington, November 22 (RHC)-- In the U.S., paid undercover informants are gathering information on the migrant caravan through Whatsapp group messages for the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

NBC News reports that the migrants, currently in the Mexican border town of Tijuana, have been using WhatsApp to coordinate their journey.  According to the report, DHS officials have joined the messaging groups as a way to monitor the caravan’s size and activity.

The practice of monitoring non-U.S. citizens’ communications is not illegal under U.S. law.  However, former acting undersecretary of intelligence for DHS, John Cohen, told NBC that it raises concerns about how resources are being allocated.

"Those resources have to come from someplace.  They are not being devoted to thwarting terrorist threats, mass shootings, mailed fentanyl coming into the country or cyberattacks," said Cohen.

An exodus of around 4,000 migrants from Central America, the majority of which are asylum seekers, have been traveling from Honduras to the border between the U.S. and Mexico since mid-October.

The journey has been dangerous as they crossed zones controlled by drug-trafficking cartels, slept outdoors at night, faced harsher weather conditions in the north of Mexico and encountered precarious security conditions along their way.  "I find it hard to believe that the highest risk facing this nation comes from this caravan," Cohen said.  

Political observers note that these people have been fleeing poverty and violence at home, the result of decades of U.S. foreign policy and unstable political climates in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.  Noam Chomsky told reporters: “People are fleeing from the misery and horrors for which the United States is responsible... from severe oppression, violence, terror, [and] extreme poverty.”

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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