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Our community is becoming increasingly vulnerable. The documentation of hate crimes or discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality, or religion is important to our community as a collective — please report them to the ADC Legal Department and to the proper authorities.

Please be advised that the content on this website is not intended to replace the advice and counsel of an attorney. The legal information contained on the website has been prepared by the ADC Legal Department as a service to its readers and the users of this site and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

Income Guidelines for Services

We generally serve individuals whose household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For some types of cases, we may serve individuals whose household income is up to 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

ADC Cannot Help Everyone

Even if you are eligible for our services, we cannot accept every case. ADC must avoid conflicts of interest. A conflict can arise, for example, if we gave legal help to the opposing party in your case. If there is a conflict of interest, we won’t be able to accept your case.

There are also many other reasons why ADC may not be able to take your case, including that Legal Aid simply does not have enough staff to represent all applicants who need help. If we do not take your case, we will send you a notice to let you know. We will not state the reason or whether there is a conflict of interest.

ADC has received an increasing number of reports from Arab-Americans who have had their bank accounts closed arbitrarily due to their Arabic background. The financial institution often cites the Patriot Act generally as the reason for the account closure, but refuses to provide a more specific reason for the account closure.

Click here to report the incident to the ADC Legal Department.  (Be sure to include the name of the financial institution in the incident report.)

Have you been treated unfairly while traveling?

File a complaint with the US Department of Transportation: Aviation Consumer Protection and Enforcement

In addition, you can send detailed complaint letters to:
Aviation Consumer Protection Division, C-75
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20590

More information on filing airline service complaints or comments

U.S. citizens who are Arab or Muslim have experienced significant difficulties in entering or exiting through Israeli controlled borders. See U.S. Department of State Travel Warning. The U.S. Department of State has asked ADC to gather information on U.S. citizens who have been denied entry by Israeli authorities in the last year or so. Completing this intake form will help ADC and the Bureau of Consular Affairs to identify trends that can be addressed.

Have you experienced discrimination at school?

Report the incident to the ADC Legal Department.

File a complaint with the US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights:

Read ADC’s Advice to Parents on how to respond to cases of discrimination in schools.

Read ADCRI’s Education Discrimination page.

Have you been discriminated against at work?

File a complaint by calling the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at 1-800-669-4000. Visit the EEOC website for more information about your workplace rights

Questions and answers from the EEOC on workplace rights of Muslims, Arabs, & South Asians.

Read ADC guidelines that discusses employment discrimination and the basic rights held by everyone who legally works or seeks employment in the United States.

See ADC’s amicus brief in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., where the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employer may not make an applicant’s religious practice, confirmed or otherwise, a factor in employment decisions.

Housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability is illegal under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your rights have been violated under FHA, file a complaint with ADC. You can file a fair housing complaint.

More information about the Fair Housing Act can be found on ADC’s Housing Rights Brochure

Additional Resources include:

Discriminatory Effect or disparate impact in housing is also prohibited. See U.S. Supreme Court decision in Texas v. The Inclusive Communities and ADC support of the case by joining on Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights amicus brief.

Arab Americans, mosques, cultural centers and our communities as whole are subject to surveillance under the guise of national security and without probable cause. Under current legislation and polices, our government and law enforcement is not required to prove probable cause or even criminal suspicion before subjecting someone to a query for investigation or to place someone on the Watch-lists. Criminal suspicion is often assumed against our communities because we have a particular name, was born in a particular country, wear cultural garb or a religious article of faith.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG), in the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), investigates allegations of civil rights and civil liberties abuses by employees in the FBI, DEA, INS, Federal Bureau of Prisons, US Marshals Service, US Attorneys Offices, and all other Department of Justice agencies (that includes the Police).

Report misconduct:

ADC continues to receive reports from Arab American travelers experiencing difficulty traveling at different ports of entry. Common problems include undue delays and secondary searches. In some instances, passengers are detained and not allowed to travel. Some of these problems encountered by Arab American travelers also came as a direct result of the different governmental “watch lists.”

Based on information provided by a former TSA officer, in 2014 ADC 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 tw (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. ADC is currently working with government agencies to address the existence of a ‘Selectee Passport List’ and prevent such occurrence again. DHS-OIG is currently conducting an investigation.

ADC also submitted an official statement for the record at the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights held a hearing on December 9, 2014, entitled The State of Civil and Human Rights in the United States. The hearing examined the status of important civil and human rights issues, including surveillance reform, profiling and law enforcement, criminal justice reform, voting rights, the militarization of law enforcement, and police-community relations. In the statement, ADC expressed widespread concerns that Federal, state, and local law enforcement continue to disproportionately target Arab Americans and other minority communities for investigation, interrogation, and arrest. ADC also called on Congress to pass legislation including the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) (S.1038) and the Smarter Sentencing Act (H.R. 3382/S. 1410).

ADC worked closely with Rep. Honda’s office in drafting the Consumer Protection amendment, which will require airlines to report to the U.S. Department of Transportation the number of passengers removed off planes and the reason for their removal. The amendment will be considered by the House Appropriations Committee. ADC commends the Congressman for his vigorous advocacy for fairness and transparency, and will continue to work closely with Congressman Honda to address this issue.

Report An Incident

Please fill out this form clearly, describe the incident with enough information so we can better understand your complaint. The information you provide will remain confidential during the investigation and verification of the incident. ADC does not provide legal assistance in the following matters: divorce/family related cases, contract/business related cases, and criminal cases.

If you have been contacted by the FBI for an interview or appointment, we can help. Please call our office right away at 202-244-2990.

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If you'd like to fill out a specific intake form, you can choose the appropriate form below. If you're not sure which form to use, complete the short questionnaire above and we will follow up with the correct form.

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