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ADC and Broad Coalition Object to TSA Recent Directives that Negatively Impact 700 Million People

Washington, D.C. | January 8, 2010 | www.adc.org |The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) joins a coalition of more than 25 Civil and Human Rights organizations opposing the new Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) screening standards issued on January 4, 2010.

Today, ADC and a broad coalition of organizations representing diverse backgrounds from across the country sent the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, a letter addressing the concerns of the communities about the new TSA standards which allow for ethnic and national origin profiling. The letter clearly states profiling on the basis of ethnicity and national origin is an unreliable means of identifying criminal behavior. ADC is troubled as such directives will have negative ramifications on Arab-Americans, citizens of the 14 countries, and all Americans who visit these countries.

Click here to read the letter. Such directives are counter to TSA’s own policy which states: “TSA does not conduct ethnic or religious profiling, and employs multiple checks and balances to ensure profiling does not happen.”

ADC Legal Director, Nawar Shora, stated, “An estimated 700 million civilians are affected by these new directives, this includes US citizens and members of our Business Community. Such a policy not only has a negative impact on civil liberties and business, but is not sound in its attempt at security and is counter to our American way of life.”

President Obama’s address yesterday summed it up best, “We will not succumb to a siege mentality that sacrifices the open society and liberties and values that we cherish as Americans. Because great and proud nations don’t hunker down and hide behind walls of suspicion and mistrust. That is exactly what our adversaries want.”

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NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non sectarian and non partisan, is the largest Arab-American civil rights organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980, by former Senator James Abourezk to protect the civil rights of people of Arab descent in the United States and to promote the cultural heritage of the Arabs. ADC has 38 chapters nationwide, including chapters in every major city in the country, and members in all 50 states.

The ADC Research Institute (ADC-RI), which was founded in 1981, is a Section 501(c)(3) educational organization that sponsors a wide range of programs on behalf of Arab Americans and of importance to all Americans.
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Media Contact: ADC Legal Director: Nawar Shora: 202-244-2990 or nshora@adc.org