Could it be that the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) wants to hamstring the little effort that remains to stop jihad terrorists in the U.S.? Oh, surely not!
A civil rights group sued U.S. federal government officials this week, alleging a terrorist watchlist is used for “harassment and humiliation” and should be discontinued.
The Michigan Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Rights (CAIR), a grassroots civil rights and advocacy organization, announced the filing of the lawsuit on behalf of 12 plaintiffs against 29 U.S. federal government representatives on Monday, including the U.S. attorney general, FBI director, and the U.S. Secret Service director. Dearborn, Michigan, has the largest Muslim population per capita of any city in the United States.
“In Michigan and across the nation, American Muslims targeted by the federal government’s unconstitutional, discriminatory watchlist and [sic] standing up and demanding justice from the government for 20 years of unjust targeting,” said CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid in a statement. “The time has come for the Biden administration to end the use of the watchlist.”
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants violated Fifth Amendment due process, equal protection under the law, and self-incrimination protections by placing plaintiffs and other individuals on the Terrorist Screening Dataset (TSDS), as well as the No Fly List and Selectee List, without any meaningful process. The suit also charges that the defendants have violated the Fourth Amendment by subjecting watch listed individuals to unreasonable searches and seizures when they cross the border to enter the United States.
In addition, the watchlist program is a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by “substantially” burdening individuals’ practice of Islam by “repeated and intrusive government inquiry” into their beliefs, religious communities, and religious practices, according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs are seeking injunctions that require the U.S. federal government to remedy constitutional and statutory violations by providing individuals on the TSDS and its subsets with a legal mechanism that gives them notice of why they are on the list, as well as a meaningful opportunity to contest their inclusion.
Additionally, the plaintiffs are requesting they be removed from the TSDS and other watchlists that inhibit their travel or ability to access government benefits, that their records of TSDS inclusion be permanently expunged, that the watchlist system be reformed to eliminate any discriminatory focus on Muslim identity or religious practice, and other relief, including a trial by jury and monetary damages.
“Watchlist placement extrajudicially sentences innocent Americans to permanent second-class citizenship,” said CAIR in a statement. “CAIR’s lawsuit reveals for the first time that, even on the rare occasion that the government removes an individual from the watchlist, an individual’s past watchlist will continue to haunt them. Federal agencies retain records of past watchlist status and use them to deny formerly listed individuals access to government buildings, security clearances, federal employment, and other licenses and government benefits.”…
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