On the eve of U.S. elections, where candidates have significant differences on U.S. immigration policy, Twitter censorship shut down the account of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan.
Morgan had attempted to tweet out the following information, which was flagged by the tech giant for violating its rules on hateful and violent content:
Having banned the @nypost for daring to report on Joe Biden, Twitter is now banning the *U.S. government* from pointing out facts about border security and illegal immigration.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) October 29, 2020
Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf called the censorship a “threat to security” in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, saying it served to “cut off an essential mode of communication between U.S. government officials and the public. In doing so, Twitter is sabotaging public discourse regarding important national and homeland security issues.”
Further, Wolf said, suppressing the tweet constituted “obstructing Americans’ inalienable right to communicate with each other and with their government and its officials.”
The issue of illegal immigration is a point of contention between President Donald Trump and his Democrat challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.
While building a border wall and allowing for only legal, vetted immigration has been a central tenet of Trump’s domestic policy, Biden and his party have been vehemently opposed to the wall as well as Trump’s limits to immigration.
Biden has vowed, if elected, to cancel the current administration’s temporary ban on immigration from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, North Korea and Venezuela, which he characterizes as a “Muslim ban.”
The temporary pause in immigration from these countries (two of which are not Muslim) is due to the fact that current vetting procedures were not deemed sufficient to counter the security risks from immigrants from these countries.
In its recently-released report, “Homeland Threat Assessment 2020,” the DHS identified immigration as an important homeland security threat for 2021.
In addition to expected immigration surges at the southwest border from the Caribbean and Central and South American countries (looking for post-pandemic economic opportunities), the Center for Immigration Studies says the DHS is predicting “surges in migration from outside the Western Hemisphere, among them unspecified national security ‘threat actors,’” a likely reference, in part, to terrorist travelers who would stand a better chance of disappearing in a huge, smothering crowd.
The Threat Assessment report states, “Although the majority of migrants do not pose a national security or public safety threat, pathways used by migrants to travel to the United States have been exploited by threat actors. As a result, surges of migrants could undermine our ability to effectively secure the border.”
The Twitter censorship of the CBP tweet took place just hours after Dorsey concluded his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee after he was summoned to explain why his company had shut down the Twitter account of the New York Post to suppress a story unfavorable to Biden.
In his letter to Dorsey, Wolf pointed out the information in the tweet was supported by data. In addition, Wolf told Dorsey,
“Whether you know it or not, CBP guards the front line of the American homeland. CBP repels and arrests thousands of violent criminal gang members each year. CBP rescues young girls who are forced into cross-border sex trafficking. CBP intercepts dangerous drugs and contraband, including enough of the opioid fentanyl to kill every man, woman, and child in the United States several times over.
“CBP fulfills the United States’ most obvious and essential law enforcement and national security responsibility to the people of our country. Your company may choose to be ignorant of these facts, but it is no less censorship when you choose to suppress them.
“There was no reason to remove Mr. Morgan’s tweet from your platform, other than ideological disagreement with the speaker. Such censorship is disturbing. Twitter’s conduct censoring U.S. government officials also endangers the national security.
“It is dangerous and damaging when any publisher arbitrarily and unfoundedly decides, as it did here, that the facts and policies of a particular Presidential Administration constitute ‘violence’—in order to censor them.”
Wolf also noted that the “gross censorship” was not accidental. After the CBP’s tweet was censored and Morgan’s account shut down, the CBP appealed the decision to Twitter, but Twitter denied the appeal. Only after the CBP went public with the story did Twitter unlock the account.
Twitter may think it is acting in the service of the underprivileged through its censorship, however, it only weakens the foundations of law and order by ignoring the threat to the U.S. posed by extremists and other nefarious actors — and denying the American people the opportunity to choose how to protect themselves.
Moreover, when criminal gangs, sex traffickers and drug dealers perceive that entry into the country is easy, they are only emboldened. With their increased ability to harm, more innocents become their victims.