Critical Race Theory



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Link – Immigration/Islamaphobia



Federal profiling programs target those from Islamic countries through racial profiling


ACLU 9 (a nonpartisan, non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." “The Persistence of Racial and Ethnic Profiling in the United States: A Follow-Up Report to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” August 2009 https://www.aclu.org/files/pdfs/humanrights/cerd_finalreport.pdf , cayla_)
As noted in the December 2007 ACLU and the January 2008 RWG shadow reports to the CERD Committee, since the tragic events of 9/11, the United States government has subjected hundreds of men from (or appearing to be from) Muslim, Arab, or South Asian countries to racial profiling, unfair treatment and punishment, and arbitrary detention and investigation.105 Without specific or material verification, individuals have been scrutinized based upon assumptions of their potential connection to alleged “terrorist activities.”106 Almost none of these men have been found to have any connection to terrorism and the law enforcement agencies who categorized the men as having “special interest” appear to have based many of these decisions on racial, ethnic, and religious profiling.107 While in custody for months on end, some of the men were physically and psychologically brutalized and mistreated, and even still, after having been found to be innocent of the terrorist activity that they were suspected of, many of these men were deported.108 We would respectfully refer the Committee to two ACLU reports that document the destructive impact that these human rights violations have had upon the individual families and broader communities that these men belonged to, as well as to a 2004 decision of the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.109 NSEERS (“Special Registration”) In the wake of 9/11, the U.S. government has used immigration enforcement as a justification to target members of Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities for investigation, interrogation and sometimes deportation.110 Though this tactic has been used in various ways, the most notorious is the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS).111 The NSEERS program required certain non-immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries to register themselves at ports of entry and local immigration offices, and to be fingerprinted, photographed and questioned at length based on their countries of origin.112 The U.S. government took the position that NSEERS did not constitute religious profiling, since it was based on national origin and eventually was to be expanded to all countries.113 In reality, the program was never expanded past the original list and, although some parts of the program were suspended, other parts are still in place.114 After considering the report of the U.S. government and after listening to testimony of U.S. officials during the constructive dialogue, the Committee issued a recommendation to the U.S. government expressing concern over the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). The recommendation states in relevant part: The Committee also draws the attention of the State party to its general recommendation no. 30 (2004) on discrimination against non-citizens, according to which measures taken in the fight against terrorism must not discriminate, in purpose or effect, on the grounds of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin, and urges the Updates 30 The Persistence of Racial and Ethnic Profiling in the United States State party, in accordance with article 2, paragraph 1 (c), of the Convention, to put an end to the National Entry and Exit Registration System (NEERS) [sic] and to eliminate other forms of racial profiling against Arabs, Muslims and South Asians.115 The CERD Committee recommendation was most appropriate. Unfortunately, victims who challenged the constitutionality of the NSEERS program have failed to win redress. In September 2008, in Rajah et al. v. Mukasey, four people placed in removal proceedings with orders of removal had their claims rejected by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.116 The court found, in relevant part, that the Immigration and Nationality Act provides statutory authorization for the NSEERS program, that the NSEERS program does not violate the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution and that petitioners had not endured 4th or 5th Amendment violations.117


Link – Immigration/Transgender/Muslim

Federal surveillance programs target and subjugate transgender women and Muslim, Arab, and Southern communities


ACLU 9 (a nonpartisan, non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." “The Persistence of Racial and Ethnic Profiling in the United States: A Follow-Up Report to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” August 2009 https://www.aclu.org/files/pdfs/humanrights/cerd_finalreport.pdf , cayla_)
Lastly, the federal government has failed to assess or address the impacts of the NSEERS program on transgender women who are citizens of affected countries and are present in the United States. Although such individuals may have completely transitioned to a female gender identity and live their lives entirely as women, it is unclear whether they are required to register under NSEERS in light of the fact that they were assigned a male identity at birth.126  Moreover, some of their identity documents may still indicate that they are male as a result of obstacles to changing identity documents to reflect individuals’ gender identity and expression in both the U.S. and overseas.  This places transgender women from targeted countries at risk of either being found to be noncompliant with the program and deported, or of having to disclose their transgender status in order to comply with the program. Both options can have profoundly adverse consequences for their safety.127
“Operation Front Line” Despite the U.S. government’s acknowledged obligation to provide relevant information to the Committee and its stated position that it has done so, there are significant examples of racial profiling at the federal level that have not been disclosed either as part of the U.S. government’s 2007 report128 or as part of the follow-up information provided to the Committee in January 2009.129 A significant example is “Operation Front Line,” a program whose existence was revealed by a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and Yale Law School’s National Litigation Project.130 By its official description, Operation Front Line was designed to “detect, deter and disrupt terror operations” among immigrants during the months leading up to the presidential election in November 2004.131 However, the documents obtained though the suit contained “damning evidence against the use of ethnic racial and religious profiling in counterterror operations.”132 Evidence suggests that the list of people who registered under NSEERS was used to identify people who were called in for interviews with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).133 An analysis of the data obtained from the Department of Homeland Security reveals that an astounding seventy-nine percent of the targets investigated were immigrants from Muslim majority countries.134 Moreover, foreign nationals from Muslim-majority countries were 1,280 times more likely to be targeted than similarly situated individuals from other countries.135 Incredibly, not even one terrorism-related conviction resulted from the interviews conducted under this program. What did result, however, was an intense chilling effect on the free speech and association rights of the Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities targeted in advance of an already contentious presidential election.136 The Committee should request that the U.S. government explain why this information was not disclosed previously, that it reveal information on any similar racial profiling programs operated under the Bush administration, and that it highlight any steps taken by the Obama administration with respect to Operation Front Line.


There’s widespread profiling and abuse of Muslims by the CBP and TSA


ACLU 9 (a nonpartisan, non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." “The Persistence of Racial and Ethnic Profiling in the United States: A Follow-Up Report to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” August 2009 https://www.aclu.org/files/pdfs/humanrights/cerd_finalreport.pdf , cayla_)
Profiling at Airports and Border Crossings For Muslim, Arab and South Asian people who enter the United States, entry can come at a high cost for both citizens and non-citizens alike.164 Muslims, Arabs and South Asians, including those assumed to be Muslim based on their appearance, are frequently pulled aside by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and questioned about their faith, friends, family, and even political opinions.165 Travelers have reported their cell phones, computers, personal papers, business cards and books being taken and, many believe, copied by the CBP agents.166 Even U.S. citizens have been threatened with referral to ICE.167 This unjust treatment is caused, in part, by a problematic CBP guidance. Released in July 2008, the CBP guidance on border searches of information contained in papers and electronic devices states, in part, that “[i]n the course of a border search, and absent individualized suspicion, officers can review and analyze the information transported by any individual attempting to enter, reenter, depart, pass through, or reside in the United States . . . ”.168 The guidance followed on the heels of the 2007 CBP decision to lower the basis for copying documents from a “probable cause” standard to a “reasonable suspicion” standard.169 This overly broad guidance gives agents at the border latitude to single out travelers based on their apparent or actual religion or ethnicity, and creates a higher bar for re-entry for U.S. citizens from Muslim, Arab and South Asian countries. Often, in order to travel abroad for business, pleasure or to see family, Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians are forced to submit to lengthy and humiliating searches and have their families, business contacts and personal papers subject to governmental scrutiny.170 As a result, business travelers have reduced their trips abroad and individuals have left personal papers, cell phones, and laptops at home to avoid the intensive and unwarranted searches by CBP. Many Muslim, Arab, and South Asian travelers have been told that their names are on government lists and cannot be cleared. Far from being mere inconveniences, these stops are intrusive and humiliating and interfere with citizens’ rights to privacy and re-entry.171 The following stories illustrate the impact of these unfair practices on individuals and families: Religious Head Coverings and Air Travel In August 2007, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a series of new guidelines intended to serve as standard operating procedures for security screening at airports around the U.S.176  These new screening procedures singled out Sikh turbans and Muslim head coverings to be screened with higher scrutiny, even though no evidence existed that these objects were being used to hide harmful or dangerous items.177  The new procedures led to widespread profiling and abuse of Sikhs at airports where they were required to remove their turbans, have their turbans roughly patted down by Transportation Security Officers (TSO), and face additional screening procedures.178  After continuous negotiations with three Sikh organizations to combat the unclear, inconsistent, and unfair application of TSA operating procedures, a new set of options for screening Sikhs and their turbans was negotiated and issued by the TSA in October 2007.179  Per these new guidelines, after being selected for screening at the discretion of a TSO, a Sikh was to be provided three options for screening his turban:  (1) a private screening area or a puffer machine, if available; (2) a self patdown of the turban followed by a swabbing of the fingers of the individual for chemical residue; or (3) a TSO pat-down of the turban.180 This policy, absent from the U.S. government’s follow-up submission to the Committee, has been implemented with questionable success.181 Sikhs have reported that wide-scale differences and inconsistencies exist between airports, that all three options are rarely given, and that the discretionary nature of screening procedures coupled with a lack of training has led to a failure to curtail abuses and profiling of Sikhs at airports.182 The stories of three individuals impacted by these TSA procedures are as follows: Muslim women have faced similar profiling and discrimination. Because the federal government has not adequately publicized the existence of or trained TSA agents in its policy on “religious and cultural sensitivity,” women who wear Muslim religious attire (including the hijab and other head coverings) have experienced profiling, harassment, and inappropriate and invasive searches.186 In 2006, the Council on American-Islamic Relations received eighty complaints of racial discrimination in the airport.187

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