Government will now tell some travelers if theyâ€™re on the no-fly list after lawsuits challenging wrongful inclusion, abuse
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/17/15) â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called a policy change by the federal government that will allow some travelers to determine if they are on the no-fly list “a step in the right direction.”
The government filed notice of the new procedures in several pending lawsuits brought by Americans challenging their apparent inclusion on the list.
One of those lawsuits is Fikre v. Holder, which was filed in 2013 by CAIR and attorney Thomas H. Nelson on behalf of a Muslim former resident of Oregon who claims he was tortured in the United Arab Emirates at the behest of the FBI and State Department.
The notice of the new procedures states, in part:
“Under the newly revised procedures, a U.S. person who purchases a ticket, is denied boarding at the airport, subsequently applies for redress through DHS TRIP about the denial of boarding, and is on the No Fly List after a redress review, will now receive a letter providing his or her status on the No Fly List and the option to receive and/or submit additional information.”
If the individual traveler chooses to pursue the matter, DHS “will provide a second, more detailed response. This second letter will identify the specific criterion under which the individual has been placed on the No Fly List and will include an unclassified summary of information supporting the individualâ€™s No Fly List status, to the extent feasible, consistent with the national security and law enforcement interests at stake.”
CAIR, the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, expressed concerns that the new policy does not provide wrongfully listed people meaningful notice and hearing and that it includes loopholes that could allow the government to continue denying travelers the right to know why they are on the no-fly list.
“The new redress process is a step in the right direction in that now the government will explicitly confirm or deny whether or not someone is on the no-fly list,” said Javeria Jamil, CAIRâ€™s government watch list legal fellow. “Unfortunately, it is not a complete solution. Not only does it still fail to address the constitutional concerns that lawsuits have raised, it also allows the government to fall back into its old pattern of not disclosing any relevant information under the guise of national security and protection of law enforcement. “
CAIRâ€™s mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
– END –
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com