The German Journalists' Association (DJV) has protested against journalists being detained and deported by U.S. customs officials, the group announced Thursday. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, the group said numerous foreign reporters who didn't have long-term visas were taken into custody or sent home over the past year. "Many of them were treated like criminals," the organization wrote. The group said that journalists researching in the United States were merely doing their job, not seeking employment and the practices should be stopped. "The discrimination against journalists, and along with it press freedom, damages the USA's international reputation," DJV head Michael Konken said.