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Monday, August 04, 2008

Rights groups object to terror profiling

A new program by the U.S. Department of Justice targeting Muslim men of Arab descent for surveillance is unconstitutional, civil rights groups say.

The new "terrorist profile," set to be unveiled as early as this week, is meant to keep tabs on such men who frequently travel abroad and maintain extensive international contacts, the Detroit News reported Monday.

Under the measure, the men may be subject not only to stops at the U.S.-Canadian border, but also to wider investigations that could include electronic surveillance and detentions, whether or not they are suspected of wrongdoing, the newspaper said.

"What is dangerous is that they've moved away from reasonable suspicion of criminality into the area of what they are calling suspicious behavior," Michael German, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, told the newspaper. He said the group is preparing legal challenges to the initiative.

"Our people contribute economically and culturally in all aspects of American life, and this is like a slap in our face," said James Allen of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce in Detroit.

The guidelines won't circumvent constitutional limitations on the use of race, a Justice Department spokesman told the News. [Link]

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1 Comments:
Blogger Cat Bao Le [At 7:43 PM]:

Please contact the Asian Law Caucus about Questioning and Searches by Customs Agents

The Asian Law Caucus and Stanford Law School Immigrants Rights Clinic are documenting instances in which U.S. citizens or residents have been subject to intrusive questioning or searches by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents when returning to the country after traveling abroad.

Please contact us if you have experienced excessive or repeated searches or questioning or believe you were singled out by Customs agents because of your ethnicity, religion, or other similar reason. For example, we are interested in hearing from people who were questioned about their religion or politics or whose laptop computer was searched. We would also like to hear your story if your company or organization has been affected by Customs and Border Protection policies. Please call the Asian Law Caucus at (415) 848-7714 or email shirins@asianlawcaucus.org.
For further information about our work on this issue, please visit www.asianlawcaucus.org.

 
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