Since 1980, the ADC Legal Department has worked to simultaneously address a consistently heavy caseload and serve as a staunch advocate for the rights of Arab Americans on a number of salient policy issues.
The ADC Legal Department focuses its advocacy efforts on legal issues that have a large impact on the Arab American community, including employment discrimination, education discrimination, travel discrimination, and immigration. The Legal Department has continued its efforts to work with established coalitions and build new partnerships with other minority groups on issues of mutual interest. Furthermore, the Legal Department maintains a strong relationship with government agencies to ensure that the diverse voices of the Arab American community are heard by key decision-makers in American government.
ADC Legal offers pro bono legal services on a wide variety of issues, most of which are described below:
- Employment Discrimination: ADC Legal assists many Arab Americans who experience discrimination and harassment in the workplace due to their Arab ethnicity. When Arabs are discriminated in the workplace, ADC Legal investigates the complaint, provides legal advice on federal anti-discrimination law, and assists these individuals in filing complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- Education Discrimination: ADC Legal assists Arab American students who experience discriminatory grading, punishment, discriminatory scholarship selection, and discrimination and harassment for expressing their political views on campus. ADC also works with the DOJ and the Department of Education to improve services for Arab children who are learning English as a second language.
- Hate Crimes: ADC Legal works to assist Arab Americans who are victims of anti-Arab violence. ADC works with local law enforcement and urges government authorities to pursue hate crime charges when there is reason to believe that a crime may have been committed due to anti-Arab hate. ADC also collaborates with federal agencies to ensure compliance with hate crime reporting for accurate statistics and implementation of appropriate training mechanisms.
- Immigration: ADC Legal regularly provides legal advice to Arabs seeking immigration assistance and information about refugee status, temporary protected status and asylum in the United States. ADC also provides assistance in filing immigration petitions and applications. In some instances, ADC Legal will take on a case and represent individuals who are indigent or are in a unique legal situation that has national implications. ADC would like to handle all cases, but are resources are limited due to financial restrictions.
- Watch List/Port of Entry Profiling: ADC continues to assist Arab American travelers who experience difficulty traveling at different ports of entry. Common problems include undue delays and additional searches. In some instances, passengers were even detained and not allowed to travel. Some of these problems encountered by Arab American travelers came as a direct result of the different government “watch lists.” ADC Legal has actively provided testimony to federal agencies and congressional hearings that set the foundation for investigation of these discriminatory practices by executive appointed bodies.
- Discrimination Against Arabs on Commercial Airlines: ADC Legal assists Arab Americans who have been discriminated against and harassed while traveling on commercial airlines. ADC Legal investigates complaints of discrimination and works to ensure that airline companies refrain from engaging in anti-Arab discrimination in the future. ADC hopes to reform airline regulations so that companies cannot remove Arabs from their planes without showing that their decision was reasonable and not discriminatory.
Have you been discriminated against? Click here to find out and then click here to report it to ADC!
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 adc.org 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.
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See ADC’s amicus work below:
- Zivotofsky v. Kerry (Jerusalem Passport Case) where the U.S. Supreme Court held that the §214(d) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which allowed American citizens born in Jerusalem to have Israel placed as their country of birth on their U.S. passport, violated the Presidents exclusive power to recognize foreign governments.
- 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.
- Farraj v. Cunningham (9th Circuit), addressing the use of bias motivated therapist reports in an family court case as a violation of the right to due process. (case is ongoing)