|NMU||VERMONT||Newsgathering||Oct 22, 2001|
Reporters arrested for testing security of Canadian border
- The U.S. Border Patrol caught two broadcast journalists as they tried to cross the Canadian border into the United States.
Two televison reporters face $5,000 in civil fines after U.S. Border Patrol officers in East Franklin, Vt., caught the two journalists entering the country illegally.
Authorities say this is the sixth time since Sept. 11 that journalists have snuck across the border to test security measures.
“All persons, including journalists, who attempt to enter the United States illegally as a ‘test,’ divert valuable resources from other areas where they may be needed during this heightened state of security,” Immigration and Naturalization Service officials said in a written statement.
The two journalists, who have not been identified, were arrested on Oct. 18. Ed Duda, a spokesman for the Border Patrol, told The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, they had the two journalists under surveillance for more than two hours after they illegally entered the United States from Canada. The journalists were then released but could still face fines.
According to the Justice Department, “it is illegal for a person to intentionally cross the border at a place other than a port of official entry.” East Franklin is not an official port of entry into the United States.
© 2001 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press