Washington, DC | www.adc.org | February 26, 2014 — In light of recent information provided by a former TSA officer, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has requested the Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General (DHS-OIG) to investigate and take action regarding the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ‘Selectee Passport List’ Policy.
The ‘Selectee Passport List’ provides TSA officers with a list of twelve (12) countries that automatically trigger special screening at airports. TSA officers are required to conduct special screening for passport holding nationals from Syria, Algeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and Sudan. All of the countries listed are Arab nations, with the exception of Afghanistan and Iran, which are predominantly Muslim nations. The remaining two nations on the list are Cuba and North Korea. Individuals from these nations are automatically ‘pulled aside for full-body pat-downs,’ subject to extra scrutiny, and extensive luggage examination.
The request made by ADC, which can be read here, states in part, “As the nation’s largest Arab American civil rights organization, ADC strongly encourages DHS to investigate the use of any racial profiling measures by TSA officers. The use of racial or ethnic profiling, through programs such as the ‘Selectee Passport List,’ must not be tolerated under any circumstances. Arabs and Arab Americans have been unlawfully singled out by TSA officers for far too long, and it is time that this ends.”
ADC will continue to monitor the matter, and encourages all community members who have experienced harassment at the airport to contact the ADC Legal Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.