Spying for Citizenship: An FBI Deal for Muslim Informants

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A New York University (NYU) student attends a town hall to discuss the NYPD's surveillance of Muslim communities on February 29, 2012 in New York City.
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In 2006, then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales laid out guidelines for the FBI's use of "confidential human sources," also known as informants. 

His directives, which are still in force today, prohibit the FBI from recruiting informants through the promise of help on residency or immigration status.

But a new investigation by Talal Ansari, a reporter for BuzzFeed, finds that the FBI breaks its own rules in its recruitment of Muslim-American informants. 

As he tells The Takeaway, "They approach these immigrants at a time where they have not heard back from the immigration department.

"They're completely in the dark; they're never informed on why they're facing an immigration problem," Ansari continues. "And that's when the FBI shows up and says, 'If you want help with your immigration problem, we're happy to do so—if you spy on your friends, community, family."