Leaked manual shows how US officials were authorised to use entrapment and sexual liaisons against immigrants

Migrant detention centre
Tom Coburg

A leaked undercover operations training manual reveals how US agencies were authorised to carry out entrapment and other illegal activities against people who immigrated to the United States. These included forming long-term sexual liaisons with targets.

The manual

Independent investigative media outlet Unicorn Riot has now published the manual [pdf]. And a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by GovernmentAttic.org has established that the manual has been operational for at least eight years (from April 2008 to the end of 2016). But Unicorn Riot believes much of it is still in use:

Illegal activities

The manual reveals how US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers can infiltrate religious, political and media organisations, while also carrying out a range of undercover operations, including: entrapment, the adoption of fake IDs, and forming long-term intimate relationships with targets to get information.

Below are seven examples:

1) Infiltration

Use of infiltration [pdf, p133]:

2) Infiltration roles

Types of jobs/roles [pdf, p206]:

3) Fake identities

Use of fake businesses [pdf, p139]:

4) False documents:

Use of cover IDs [pdf, p131]:

5) Entrapment

Use of inducements (bribes etc.) [pdf, p19]:

6) ICE ops funded by immigrants

Self-funding ops [pdf, p112]:

7) Using marriage to obtain information

This could be straight out of the UK’s spycops scandal:

Controversial state targeting of immigrants

Australia led the way

But when it comes to the imprisonment of refugee children, Australia led the way – as one lawyer has pointed out:

In August 2016, a joint report by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International condemned the forcible and indefinite imprisonment of refugees, including children, on the isolated and tiny Pacific island of Nauru. This followed a similarly damning report [pdf] in 2014 by UNICEF and Save the Children.

There are currently five claims lodged with the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing Australian government ministers of crimes against humanity. These claims are by: Andrew Wilkie MP and barrister Greg Barns [pdf]; the Refugee Action Collective (Victoria); international legal advocate Tracie Aylmer [pdf]; a consortium [pdf] of Australian, British and American lawyers; and the Global Legal Action Network and Stanford Law School [pdf].

Crime against humanity?

The policy of separating immigrant children from their parents was enacted under the Trump administration in May 2018. And attorney general Jeff Sessions had issued a “zero-tolerance policy” on 6 April.

Over a six-week period in April and May 2018, the number of children whom authorities separated from their parents after they crossed the Mexican-US border was around 2,000.

Hi-tech wall

Meanwhile, controversial data analysis company Palantir reportedly:

took in more than $4.9 million from ICE on May 30, part of a $39 million contract that began in 2015. According to a government database search, the contract goes toward “operations and maintenance” of Falcon [pdf], Palantir’s proprietary intelligence database that tracks immigrants’ records and relationships.

Palantir chair Peter Thiel (a board member at Facebook) is also reportedly considering financing Anduril, a company that is developing a virtual border wall using radar, infrared sensors and cameras.

It’s now understood that US president Donald Trump’s immigration plan may see children reunited with their parents – but only if they accept deportation:

The recent scandal surrounding how the US deals with immigrants, meanwhile, may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Get Involved!

– Support Unicorn Riot. And read other Unicorn Riot investigations into ICE:

– Donate to HelpRefugeesUK and Refugee Action Australia.

– Read the following reports, condemning the detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island: Amnesty International, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Committee against Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons (Note: Custom and Border Protection gave the image to a reporter on a tour of the immigration detention facility in McAllen, Texas, in June 2018. Reporters were not allowed to take their own photos.)

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