Muslim Advocates welcomes DHS Sec. Napolitano commitments to reviewing border screening practices
May 6, 2009
During questioning by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano committed her agency to a review–within the next 45 days–of laptop/data device searches & screening practices at border checkpoints and to a review of documented cases of harassment of Muslim American travelers (or those perceived to be Muslim) by federal border agents screening at the nation’s borders and international airports. She also committed to report back to Congress on these reviews.
Muslim Advocates welcomes Secretary Napolitano’s commitment to these reviews. As Senator Feingold mentioned in his remarks, Muslim Advocates recently released a report, Unreasonable Intrusions, which chronicles the harassment of Muslim American travelers (or those perceived to be Muslim) returning home from overseas visits.
The report reveals that U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Customs & Border Protection (“CBP”) agents have systematically questioned individuals about their political beliefs, religious practices, and charities they support. Agents have also sought to review and copy business cards, credit cards, and data on laptops, digital cameras and cell phones. These interrogations and searches – which appear to be targeting Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim — are taking place without evidence that the travelers have engaged in wrongdoing.
Muslim Advocates looks forward to Secretary Napolitano’s detailed review of these incidents of border agent harassment of American citizens and violations of their Constitutional rights.
Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/yh7su4t