The Crescent Report

August 16, 2010

MAS immigrant Justice and Legal Clinic Request the Assistance of DHS to Address Alleged Abuses Surrounding Religious and Racial Profiling in Dallas, Texas

Filed under: From the Desk of Imam Mahdi Bray — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 11:51 am
President Obama stated in his New Beginning speech that, “The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile…  All this has bred more fear and more mistrust…  And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end.”
More than two years later,  Muslims, Latino and Arab immigrants continue the struggle against  law enforcement and private security practices that disproportionately target these groups for investigation and enforcement. MAS-Freedom Immigrant Justice Project remains vigilant in its attempt to represent individuals who have been victims of racial profiling by airlines, police, and government agencies. Texas, for instance, is one of several states in which CRCL is looking at immigration processing inequalities and airport profiling which targets  Arab and non-Arab applicants and other ethnic groups. The abundant request for equal opportunity from USCIS that leads to citizenship, hopefully, will lead the state to reexamine the system and deal with all applicants fairly.
As such, policy advisors for Department of Homeland Security, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) are re-enforcing its commitment  to engaging with Arab-American, Muslim-American, Sikh-American and other ethnic and religious communities who may be subjected to discrimination and profiling.
Kareem Shora, Senior Policy Advisor, expressed that these communities are critical to America’s future, and the department remains convinced that DHS cannot do an effective job in homeland security without actively and fully connecting with them. Part of this conviction is rooted in his own experience. Shora joined DHS in October, 2009, after a ten-year tenure with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) where he served as legal advisor, legal director, and national executive director.
In Dallas, along with colleague Tuyet G Duong, Policy Advisor for Immigration at the Department of Homeland, Kareem Shora piloted, one of many, town-hall meeting for individuals who have inquiries or seek resolution regarding difficulties they experienced during their travel screening at transportation, experienced unordinary long delays in immigration processing, and those who have alleged misconduct by agents of law enforcement.
MAS immigrant Justice and Legal Clinic commends The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for its works to foster ongoing communications and build lasting relationships between the government and the American public. Clinic director Khalilah Sabra commented that “racial and religious profiling is an inexplicable anomaly. Continuing reports of the abuse of civil rights and liberties are evocative and saddening” and welcomes dialogue followed by action that leads to policies and procedures that are mindful of civil rights and civil liberties. “By focusing on communities that are particularly affected by DHS activities, its Civil Rights and Civil Liberties sections help insure that minority and marginalized citizens are not left disarmed.”
Tuyet G Duong reiterated the department’s commitment to providing advice that will enable policy-makers to achieve their national security or law enforcement goals in ways that protect civil rights and civil liberties and will strive to shape policy before problems occur.
The Office also ensures that all federally-assisted and federally-conducted programs or activities of the Department comply with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended; and related Executive Orders. The Office investigates complaints in areas such as: abuse of authority or color of the law; discrimination; profiling; violations of the confidentiality provisions of the Violence Against Women Act; conditions of detention; treatment; due process; and watch lists.

Khalilah Sabra, Director

click here to see pictures from the event

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