The U.S. government compiled a list and dossiers on journalists, activists and lawyers who interacted with the migrants who arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America last year.
The NBC affiliate in San Diego reported that the 59 individuals on the list had been marked to be pulled out for questioning when they crossed the border. At least 21 of them were arrested, KNSD-TV reported.
The files compiled by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection included 10 journalists, seven U.S. citizens, an American attorney and 47 people from Central America.
The list was compiled shortly after a caravan of nearly 5,000 migrants from Honduras arrived at the Tijuana-San Ysidro border, the report said.
CBP officials did not dispute the report but said it was part of added security action taken after some of the migrants tried to scale the barriers and run through the checkpoints, prompting a clash with border agents. The clash ended in the closure of the border for several hours over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Such "criminal events ... involving assaults on law enforcement and a risk to public safety, are routinely monitored and investigated by authorities,'' a CBP statement said. But it did not address specifics of why journalists would be on the list.