Award-winning journalist and New York Times’ best-selling author James O’Keefe released a powerful video showing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) unquestionably violating the First Amendment by detaining James O’Keefe in retaliation for his Osama bin Laden video. In that video, which greatly embarrassed CBP, O’Keefe crossed the Rio Grande River dressed as Osama bin Laden completely undetected. Senator John McCain later questioned Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary Francis Taylor about the border crossing in a Senate Hearing, trapping the undersecretary in an indefensible position, further humiliating CPD.
Prior to O’Keefe exposing our porous southern border and the incompetency of CBP, he had never been detained when reentering the United States. Subsequently, O’Keefe has been detained following each and every one of his six reentries into the United States.
In the video from O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, CBP officers are captured asking such incredulous questions as:
- “Who do you think is going to win the Republican Primary”
- “Would you really support Trump as a nominee?”
O’Keefe maintained his journalistic integrity by refusing to answer the inappropriate questions and stating that as a journalist he must maintain his independence.
The fifth time O’Keefe was detained was in Montreal where CBP’s veiled unconstitutional detention of O’Keefe was clear from the start as they quickly and without any promting stated that maybe he was being detained because he had “passed the border before in disguise.”
This unconstitutional trend continued when O’Keefe reentered the country in Seattle where the CBP Officer asked him if he made the “news for the whole southern border stuff?”
Additionally, CBP Officer asked O’Keefe:
- “What’s your next project?”
- “Do you make money off the Youtube hits?”
- “How many [YouTube] hits do you guys get?”
- “So you paid for your own trip and everything?”
None of these inappropriate questions had national security relevance nor were they constitutional. They were vindictive and clearly acts of retribution.
Our immigration system is troublingly flawed and rather than attempt to solve the rampant problems, Border Patrol is focusing its efforts on Donald Trump and me” said Project Veritas President James O’Keefe, “I can’t even really begin to comprehend why they would allocate their already stretched resources on me; the only plausible explanation is retaliation because I severely embarrassed them. Truthfully, my intention was never to embarrass anyone, it was shed light on a glaring problem threatening our nation’s security. I am proud of my actions, and sad about how my country has responded.”