Can Someone Please Shut Down the US Customs Agency?

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I woke up in the middle of last night enraged by this story. I do not thank Ta-Nehisi Coates for bringing it to my attention and ruining my night, but as long as he did, I’m going to ruin yours too.

Thanks to a combination of executive branch policy and Supreme Court indifference in the post-9/11 era, US Customs and Border Protection has become a rogue agency, answerable to no one and run by sociopaths who take grim pleasure in harassing and torturing citizens they disapprove of just because they can. The evidence for this is now legion. If Congress actually wanted to do something useful, that’s what they’d spend this week working on.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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