Skip to main content

Former La Mesa Pastor Sues DHS Over Border Surveillance Program

Pastor Kaji Dousa in Tijuana on Nov. 27, 2018.

Credit: Max Rivlin-Nadler

Above: Pastor Kaji Dousa in Tijuana on Nov. 27, 2018.

KPBS Midday Edition Segments podcast branding

Pastor Kaji Dousa, who used to preach at the La Mesa United Church of Christ, accuses the Department of Homeland Security of targeting her and violating her First Amendment rights.

Aired: July 15, 2019 | Transcript

Former La Mesa Pastor Kaji Dousa said in January she was coming back to San Diego after ministering to migrants in Tijuana when she was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the San Ysidro Port of Entry and held for questioning for hours.

Months later, she learned she was part of a broader secret government surveillance program, first reported by NBC San Diego, tracking lawyers, human rights workers and activists with ties to the migrant caravan.

Now, Dousa is suing the Department of Homeland Security for allegedly targeting her and violating her First Amendment rights. She claims the surveillance has interfered with her ability to minister.

While CBP would not comment on the lawsuit, the agency has previously defended the use of the program.

Dousa, who used to preach at the La Mesa United Church of Christ, now leads a congregation in New York City. She joins Midday Edition to talk about her work and her lawsuit.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.