Press Releases

CAIR to Challenge Constitutionality of Federal Watchlist at April 4 Virginia Court Hearing

Nation’s largest Muslim civil rights group to hold news conference outside courthouse following hearing, urges community to attend court proceedings

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/3/19) – On Thursday, April 4, attorneys from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will challenge the constitutionality of the federal government’s watchlisting system at a hearing before a federal judge in Alexandria, Va.

SEE: U.S. Government’s Watchlist Violates the Constitution, Lawyer – and Plaintiff – Says

https://www.newsweek.com/us-governments-terrorist-watchlist-violates-constitution-isis-brides-lawyer-1384513

CAIR will also hold a news conference outside the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia immediately following the hearing. The news conference will be livestreamed at: https://www.facebook.com/CAIRNational

The Washington-based civil rights organization is also urging those who value the Constitution to attend the hearing.

Facebook Event Page, Attend Court Hearing for CAIR’s Lawsuit Against Illegal WatchList: https://www.facebook.com/events/1119156561602266/

WHAT: Hearing Regarding Constitutionality of the Federal Government’s Watchlisting System

WHEN: Thursday, April 4, 10 a.m.

WHERE: U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, 401 Courthouse Square, Courtroom 701, Alexandria, Va.

CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 202-742-6420, lmasri@cair.com, CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, gabbas@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

“Our plaintiffs are broadly representative of the types of systemic abuses thousands of innocent American Muslims – including infants and toddlers – are being subjected to as a result of being designated in the terrorist screening database without even a modicum of due process,” said CAIR National Litigation and Civil Rights Director Lena F. Masri. “We are confident the Court will the weigh the overwhelming evidence we obtained in our favor and declare the federal watchlisting system unconstitutional.”

“The federal terrorist watchlist is essentially a secretive network map of American Muslims’ associations,” said CAIR National Trial Attorney Carolyn Homer. “It’s built by scrutinizing plaintiffs’ families, traveling companions and phone contacts. We hope the court recognizes that the watchlist creates second-class citizens and violates due process.”

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Virginia on behalf of 23 innocent American Muslims, including a baby, who were targeted by the federal government’s watchlisting system. 

These individuals have suffered a range of severe consequences, including inhumane confinement conditions resulting in emergency medical treatment, repeatedly being handcuffed at gunpoint while crossing the border, forced separation of families, denial of boarding of flights, missed funerals and weddings, and a baby being searched and detained for four hours despite burning up from a fever.

CAIR: Ordeal of Infant on ”˜Watch List’ Shows Deep Flaws: Lawsuit
CAIR: Feds Share Watchlist with 1,400 Private Groups (AP)
CAIR: Detroit Mother Calls Out Feds for Breaking Up Family, Files Lawsuit

On April 4, CAIR will also launch a social media series featuring stories of innocent American Muslims – including infants and toddlers – who have joined CAIR lawsuits filed around the country challenging the constitutionality of the federal government’s watchlisting system. 

Members of the public can help their social media followers understand the harm to American families and children caused by the federal government’s illegal, ineffective watchlist by using downloadable graphics and messages from CAIR’s Watch List Digital/Social Media Action Toolkit.

SEE: Watch List Digital/Social Media Action Toolkit

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

END

CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 202-742-6420, lmasri@cair.com, CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, gabbas@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter