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Border warned agents not to refer to immigrants as “today's catch”

The former head of the US Customs and Border Protection Media Department last year asked agency members to stop using…

The former head of the US Customs and Border Protection Media Department last year asked agency members to stop using formulas as “Today’s Catch” when it comes to illegal immigrants crossing the border.

Email October 26, 2017, obtained by the Watchdog Group American Oversight in response to a request for freedom of information law, asked the agency to treat someone with whom they interact with respect.

“Whether an illegal stranger or alleged (or even convicted) criminal is all human and should be treated humanly,” said the e-mail. “We must protect against using language that detracts from inherent dignity and respect.”

The e-mail focused specifically on the phrasing of social media, and urges CBP not to shed light on people’s situations.

“I understand that social media is much more conversation than traditional media and often uses creative word games to attract readers or followers, or better, re-tweets of our messages,” they wrote. “But this is where we have to make sure that we do not highlight the circumstances of the individual. For example, I give an example of the use of today’s” catch “that is suitable for fish or substances, but not referring to people.”

American Oversight filed their FOIA in part based on a October 20, 201

7 CBP tweet showing a picture of four captured men with hashtag # CatchOfTheDay.

A representative of the Department of Homeland Security did not respond promptly to Hills requests for comments to the email.

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