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  1. #1
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    Default CAIR - U.S. Muslim Travelers Warned of 'Forced Exile'

    ACTIONALERT
    Advisory: U.S. Muslim Travelers Warned of 'Forced Exile'

    American Muslims face denial of due process, pressure to become informants

    (WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/9/10) -- CAIR today issued an advisory to American Muslims -- whether citizens, permanent residents or visa holders -- warning of the risk of "forced exile" when traveling overseas or attempting to return to the United States. Muslim travelers are urged to know their legal rights if they are placed on the so-called "no-fly list."

    In the past few months, CAIR has received a number of reports of American Muslims stranded overseas when they are placed on the government's no-fly list. Those barred from returning to the United States report being denied proper legal representation, being subjected to FBI pressure tactics to give up the constitutionally-guaranteed right to remain silent, having their passports confiscated without due process, and being pressured to become informants for the FBI. These individuals have not been told why they were placed on the no-fly list or how to remove their names from the list.

    SEE:
    Cases of American Muslims Barred from U.S. (CAIR)
    American Man in Limbo on No-Fly List (NY Times)
    U.S. Muslims Facing Problems in Return from Abroad (Wash. Post)

    FBI agents have reportedly told a number of individuals that they face being stranded outside the United States longer, or forever, unless they give up their rights to legal representation or to refuse interrogations and polygraph tests. But even those who submitted to interrogations without an attorney or to the "lie detector" tests remain stranded.

    CAIR cooperated with the ACLU on its recently-filed lawsuit challenging the lack of due process in placing travelers on the no-fly list.

    SEE:ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Unconstitutional 'No Fly List'

    "We ask President Obama to review this disturbing new policy that denies American Muslims their constitutional rights and due process of law," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

    He said American Muslims strongly support law enforcement and the protection of our national security. And as Americans, we also value the civil rights of every individual. All Americans have the constitutional right to due process and to re-enter their own country.

    If you know of any criminal activity, it is both your religious and civic duty to immediately report such activity to local and federal law enforcement agencies.

    Know Your Rights if Placed on the No-Fly List:
    [IMPORTANT NOTE: Before traveling overseas, obtain the cell phone number of an attorney who would be available for consultation if you are barred from returning to the United States. Finding an attorney once you have been stopped or detained is much more difficult. Provide the attorney's contact information to those scheduled to pick you up at the airport.]

    1) Understand that agreeing to an interview with FBI agents is strictly voluntary. You are not obligated under law to answer any questions from law enforcement officers. You must however provide them with a passport or other official identification.

    2) You may choose to have an attorney accompany or represent you for any interview or questioning. CAIR strongly recommends that you consult with an attorney before being interviewed by law enforcement agents. CAIR may provide legal assistance or can refer you to an attorney.


    3) Stay calm. Do not get into an argument with law enforcement officers.

    4) Note that anything you say to an agent or officer can be used against you in a court of law, and that lying to an agent or officer is a criminal offense. Also note that an FBI agent is permitted to lie to you in the course of an interrogation.

    5) Should you decide to speak to agents without an attorney despite the risks, note that you may set the conditions of the interview, including choosing when and where the interview is to take place, whether a third party such as a family member is present, which questions to answer, and refusing to sign any documents. You may cancel the interview at any time. Take detailed notes during any interview.

    6) Be sure to get the names, agencies, badge numbers and business cards of ALL agents or officers. Similarly, make a note of the name, agency, contact information, and supervisor of any other government employees, including embassy staff.

    7) Contact your attorney and CAIR to report the incident and to discuss your next legal steps. If you believe that your civil rights have been or are being violated, you may file a complaint with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and with the Department of State. CAIR can help you with this process.

    8) To file a civil rights complaint with CAIR-PA, please visit: http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay....om%2Freport%2F

    9) If you have Internet access, file a complaint with DHS TRIP (Traveler Redress Inquiry Program) by going to: www.dhs.gov/trip

    10) Have your spouse or other family members contact your elected representatives to seek assistance.

    MORE RESOURCES:

    "
    FBI Interview: Knowing the Law Can Protect You," by Ahilan Arulanantham and Ranjana Natarajan. InFocus News, February 2007.

    Video: "
    Got Rights: Protect Yourself and Your Family at Home and at the Airport,” by Muslim Advocates.
    [Please note: The points outlined above are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Should you have any questions about this material or about a specific case, please consult with an attorney.]


  2. #2
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    Default US Government Confiscating Citizens' Passports

    Can the US Government Confiscate a Citizen's Passport for No Apparent Reason? It Just Did

    Nader el-Dajani answered the FBI's questions. Now the State Department is withholding his passport.

    —By Nick Baumann | Mon Apr. 14, 2014

    When two FBI agents called Nader el-Dajani in August 2012 and asked if he could meet at Starbucks for a chat, he instead invited them to his home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for coffee and tea. The 55-year-old businessman, who lives in Bahrain for most of each year, hadn't been charged with a crime, and the FBI agents never explained why they were interested in him. Dajani didn't have to tell the agents anything. But he did. He explained that, a few months earlier, he'd been stopped and questioned by Department of Homeland Security officers at a London airport because he was carrying multiple cellphones, which he uses during his international travels. He readily answered the agents' questions about his travels in the Middle East—where he owns several businesses—and his knowledge of the region. He thought it was the right thing to do. "I told them everything," he says. "I was open." He assumed that cooperating with the bureau would make his life easier.

    He was wrong. Dajani, who is of Palestinian descent, has been an American citizen since the mid-1980s. He owns several businesses in Bahrain, where he spends much of his time. One of these businesses involves selling security equipment—including access controls and retinal scanners—to telecommunications companies. It requires a lot of face-to-face meetings, so he travels regularly around the region and the world. Until the incident in London, he hadn't had any problems at the airport. The FBI agents said they'd try to fix his problems. But in the two years since they visited his house, he's faced additional screening and questions every time he travels. Each time, he submitted to searches and answered questions.

    Now Dajani's livelihood is at stake. On February 27, when he went to get new pages added to his passport at the US Embassy in Bahrain, as he had done many times before, the government confiscated it. He says he was told that "guidance from Washington" required the Embassy to hold on to his passport. He never received an explanation for why it was taken. He missed his 30th wedding anniversary celebration and numerous business meetings. Without his passport, he will lose his legal status in Bahrain on April 17 and face deportation. And he's had enough. "It's a situation of livelihood," he says. "My business could fall apart. I could lose everything that I've worked for if I'm not able to do the business trips I need to. People are going to start suspecting me, people are going to say, 'Why should we work with you?—you're suspicious.' My whole life, my whole career could be jeopardized because I am not able to travel."

    It has been more than five weeks since the government confiscated his travel documents, and Dajani is still without his passport. A State Department official told Mother Jones Dajani's "application is under review and we will be in touch with him shortly." The FBI declined to comment.

    Dajani has played by the rules. Last September, he used the Kafkaesque process known as the Traveler Redress Inquiry Program to formally ask the Department of Homeland Security to review whether he was on any terrorist watch lists and whether he was being screened appropriately. After submitting his personal information for use in this secret process, in which Americans are not able to contradict or even see any evidence against them (if it exists at all), Dajani received what is known as a redress letter. This document provides Americans who want to be removed from watch lists with a seven-digit Redress Control Number and the vague assurance that if any action was warranted, the government has taken it.

    The redress number solved nothing. The US Embassy in Bahrain has told Dajani that it is still unable to return his passport, and the only option he has is to accept a two-day travel document that will only allow him to return to the United States—a decision that would cost him his legal residency in Bahrain. "If they want me to go to the States, if they have something against me, they should say that, and I'll go to the States," Dajani says. But the embassy hasn't given him any indication that he's suspected of any wrongdoing or that the government wants him back in the United States.

    Federal law requires that US citizens be granted a hearing before their passports are revoked. "Having a passport is part of a citizen's right to international travel, because without a passport you're not able to move about or return to the US," says Gadeir Abbas, a lawyer with the Council on American-Islamic Relations who is representing Dajani. "They can revoke it if they believe it has been obtained fraudulently. But here, there isn't any allegation of wrongdoing, and because there isn't an allegation of wrongdoing and there hasn't been any notice, Nader is left without a passport unlawfully." In January, the Washington Post reported on a recent spate of passport confiscations and revocations at the US Embassy in Sana'a, Yemen. The State Department told the Post that "the Department has authority to deny and revoke a U.S. passport under certain conditions, including those involving false identity." Dajani has not been told that his identity is in question.

    The Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the State Department have a long-standing practice of using passports, terrorist watch lists, and travel restrictions such as the no-fly list as leverage. Dozens of American Muslims have traveled abroad only to find, when they tried to return home, that they were on the no-fly list and could not return to the United States unless and until they answered questions from the FBI—often without a lawyer present. (This practice is the subject of Latif v. Holder, a pending lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Obama administration.)

    Dajani's problems are part and parcel of this larger trend, Abbas says: "The FBI has made a practice of placing people in vulnerable situations in order to extract information from them. Here, for unknown reasons, the embassy is going to deprive an American citizen to remain where his business in and deprive him of the ability he's had for decades to move about the world. It's alarming that something like that can happen. He sat down and talked to the FBI and this is his reward."


    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...ader-el-dajani

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    Mos Def, aka Yasiin Bey, denied entry back into US (graphic video)



    Rapper and activist Mos Def, now known as Yasiin Bey, has been denied re-entry into the United States according to multiple media sources. Bey has been an outspoken critic of not only the Obama administration but also of America and now resides in South Africa. This has now caused the rapper to cancel his upcoming U.S. tour.

    According to the Together Boston Music Festival, “We regret to inform you that due to immigration [and] legal issues Yasiin Bey is unable to enter back into the United States and his upcoming U.S. tour has been canceled, including May 15, Together Boston’s show at The Wilbur Theatre. Individual ticket refunds for this show are available at point of sale.”

    Bey has been outspoken about U.S. treatment of Muslim prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. In July of 2013, Bey took part in a simulation of “force-feeding” that is similar to what allegedly occurs at Guantanamo Bay.

    Bey was born in Brooklyn, New York, on Dec. 11, 1973, so he is an American citizen. The current reason that Bey is being denied entry is not fully known.

    See the video of Bey being force-fed below: (Warning: Graphic)




    http://rollingout.com/music/mos-def-...BrBbA.facebook

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    How the US's terrorism watchlists work – and how you could end up on one


    Long-withheld document provides insight into secretive system in which people can be placed on terrorism databases with astounding ease, and without any way to get off

    They're reading your tweets

    The watchlisting guidance says that "first amendment protected activity alone shall not be the basis" for nominating someone to the lists. The key word: alone. What you say, write and publish can and will be used against you. Particularly if you tweet it, pin it or share it.

    Where you go might get you placed on the list – and then stranded


    Contained within the guidance is a potential reason why many US Muslims find themselves abruptly unable to return from trips abroad without explanation. An example given of "potential behavioral indicators" of terrorism is "travel for no known lawful or legitimate purpose to a locus of TERRORISM ACTIVITY". Not defined: "lawful", "legitimate" or "locus". That could mean specific training camps, travel to which few would dispute the merits of watchlisting. Or it could mean entire countries where terrorists are known or suspected of operating – and where millions of Americans travel every year.

    There's room for the family (and perhaps your friends)


    A precursor data set that feeds the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB or, "the watchlist") is the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center. TIDE contains records of known or suspected international terrorists. It also contains information on their families and perhaps their friends.


    Just because a jury finds you innocent doesn't mean watchlists agree

    The guidelines explicitly state that someone "acquitted or against whom charges are dismissed for a crime related to terrorism" can still be watchlisted. A federal official nominating such a person for inclusion on the list just needs "reasonable suspicion" of a danger – something defined as more than "mere guesses or hunches", based on articulable information or "rational inferences" from it, but far less than probable cause. A judge or jury's decision is not controlling.


    Watch how you walk

    In keeping with a general enthusiasm exhibited by law enforcement and the military for identifying someone based on their seemingly unique physical attributes, biometric information is eligible as a criteria to watchlist someone. Several of those biometric identifiers are traditional law enforcement ones, like fingerprints; others are exceptionally targeted, like DNA. Then there are others that reflect emerging or immature analytic subjects: "digital images", iris scans, and "gait" – that is, the way you walk.


    You can be turned into an informant (or punished if you refuse)

    Keeping track of suspected terrorists may not be the only purpose the watchlisting system serves. Recent lawsuits allege that the FBI uses it to as leverage to turn people into snitches.


    So much for that job

    Being unable to travel is in some ways more invasive than other forms of surveillance. Unless your friends spend their time digging through court records, they will be unlikely to find out that, say, your assets were frozen, even you suddenly can't pay for dinners. Not all jobs ask about or care about an arrest.


    You can't get off – yet

    There is no procedure to challenge and reverse your status on the no-fly list, the terrorism watchlist or TIDE. Inclusion on any is not typically disclosed – making legal remedies difficult – nor does the government provide any process for removal. Travelers suspicious about why their attempts to fly were unsuccessful can launch a redress request through the Department of Homeland Security, but that process does not challenge inclusion on a watchlist or database, nor will even successful requests guarantee against future travel restrictions. Procedures that will, identified within the guidance, are exclusively internal government processes.

    Full article at : https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/24/us-terrorism-watchlist-work-no-fly-list


    25 Reports That Can Put You on the Terrorist Watchlist



    A concerted effort has been afoot for some time to merge local police with federal authorities to respond to the implementation of citizen spy “snitch” programs. This has been best illustrated by the role of threat fusion centers, which are integrating data from public and private sources alike — even universities.

    The FBI has now made public their “Communities Against Terrorism” Suspicious Activity Reporting flyers.

    I myself have seen documents like this as a former retail store owner. One day, roughly 10 years ago, I received a flyer in my mailbox informing our establishment that we were to submit a “Suspicious Activity Report” for anyone paying with large amounts of cash (I believe it was $2,000 or more at the time). I proceeded to throw it directly into the garbage where it belonged. I did inform my clients, though, rather than inform the “authorities” as I was directed. However, these SAR’s have clearly become much more widespread than my tiny retail shop, infiltrating nearly every facet of life in America.

    Listed below are all 25 known flyers that should be read in their entirety if one wishes to discover just how far the United States has traveled in its attempt to replicate a level of citizen snitches not seen since the Stasi of East Germany.

    I have included a very short summary of each .PDF, with an embedded link in the title, to serve as a general guide of who is a potential suspect worthy of being added to the terrorist watchlist.

    We must never forget that this system of control needs our cooperation if it is to succeed. We have to accept personal responsibility for how much further this slide toward tyranny is going to take us; and that starts by getting informed, and informing others of the extent of their plan.



    1. Airport Service Providers — Includes on-craft providers: baggage, cleaners, cargo, catering, mechanics, ground crew, food service, cleaners, security, taxi, limos, and shuttles.
    2. Beauty/Drug Suppliers — People who have burn marks, missing limbs, travel a long distance, nervous, who are picked up, make illogical requests (even of consumer-grade products).
    3. Bulk Fuel Distributors — New customers not from the area, those using cash for large transactions, nervous, large purchases, having a rental vehicle.
    4. Construction Sites — People with environmental slogans and/or anti-government slogans, banners or signs that threaten or imply violence.
    5. Dive/Boat Shops — New customers reluctant to provide complete personal information, customer who does not have certification, using cash for expensive transactions, extended rentals, appearing uninterested in safety rules, experiencing guarded behavior.
    6. Electronics Stores — Person who alters appearance from visit to visit (changing hair color, shaving, etc.), fills a “shopping list” of components while lacking knowledge about their use. Pays cash for large purchases.
    7. Farm Supply Stores — New customers not from the area, nervous or impatient, suspicious inquiries regarding equipment specifications, failing to state legitimate use for supplies, rental vehicle, cash for large transactions.
    8. Financial Institutions — No evidence for legitimate business activity, those with multiple accounts, banks, parties, and jurisdictions (layering). Mixed deposits (money orders, third-party checks, and/or payroll into a business account). Large volume of wire transfers, or repetitive patterns, shell entities, “pass through” points by foreign jurisdictions.
    9. General Aviation — Taking flying lessons but appear uninterested, renting under vague reasons for doing so, requests to fly over specific locations without substantiated reason, taking pictures or videos of potentially sensitive locations, actions outside the norm, parking near the perimeter of airport, asking questions without substantiation.
    10. General Public — Basically everything exhibited by those with an inquisitive nature: questions, note taking, drawing, annotating maps, inappropriate photos or videos, people in places where they do not belong.
    11. Hobby Shops — Interest in remote-controlled aircraft, interest that does not seem genuine, possessing little knowledge of purchase, exhibiting unusual interest, exhibiting no interest, using cash for large transactions.
    12. Home Improvement and Large Retail Stores — Large quantity of ammunition, firearms and ammunition out of season, combination of unusual items, interest in night vision and camouflage apparel, purchases of pipe fittings and supplies, rental vehicle, refusal to complete firearms paperwork, using cash for large transactions.
    13. Hotels/Motels — There is an excellent discussion of this section in Michael Snyder’s recent article.
    14. Internet Cafes — There is an excellent discussion of this section in Michael Snyder’s recent article.
    15. Shopping Malls — Wearing backpacks, discreet use of cameras, note-taking, or video over an extended period, several men arriving together then splitting up, continuing to communicate (dry run?), speaking to security guards, comments regarding radical theology, vague or cryptic warnings, or anti-U.S. sentiments that appear out of place and provocative.
    16. Martial Arts/Paintball — Insist on paying with cash, travels long distance to participate, interest in learning offensive moves in a confined space, learning the use of hidden weapons, learning kill and restraint techniques with no occupational need, group training, uttering racist, religious, unusual, anti-US, or vague and cryptic warnings, close combat training, paintball tactics of ambush or kidnapping scenarios, operating a private facility, converting large plots of rural land to conduct these activities.
    17. Mass Transportation — Altering one’s appearance, exhibiting burns, bleached body hair, concealed wires, nervous, actions suggesting use of a hidden camera, unusual comments, questioning security/facility personnel via normal means of communication, groups arriving together then splitting up and communicating via cell phone.
    18. Military Surplus — Demanding identity privacy, insisting on paying with cash, suspicious comments, bulk purchases.
    19. Peroxide Explosives — Unknown customer, individual requesting more information.
    20. Recognizing Sleepers — Arrival from countries where violent militant Islamic groups are known to operate, long unexplained absences, fury at the West for reasons ranging from personal problems to global policies of the U.S., conspiracy theories about Westerners (e.g. the CIA arranged for 9/11 to legitimize the invasion of foreign lands), accusing the West of trying to destroy Islam.
    21. Rental Cars — Reluctance to provide complete personal information, using cash, unusual questions.
    22. Rental Properties — Using cash for large transactions, inquiries about local sites, refusing maintenance or service over extended time, not using property for intended purpose, unusual number of package deliveries, unusual amounts of traffic, discovery of unusual items.
    23. Rental Trucks — Reluctance to provide personal information, cash for large transactions, inquiries about renting a truck with a wooden floor, questions about vehicle specifications.
    24. Storage Facilities — Failing to provide complete personal information, using cash to pay fees in advance, placing unusual items in storage, disposing of tools, gloves, masks, or clothing, discarding clothes or shoes in new condition, avoiding contact with rental facility personnel, accessing facility an unusual number of times, storing items that emit unusual odors or leak liquids.
    25. Tattoo Shops — Demanding identity “privacy,” paying cash, altering appearance (beard, hair style, hair color, style of dress, etc.), making racist or extreme statements, suspicious comments that suggest or appear to endorse violence in support of a cause, repeated returns with multiple individuals requesting identical tattoos, inquiries about unusual methods of tattooing or placement which could allow the concealment of extremist symbols.



    These flyers also state an additional note about how you can be a part of the solution:


    • Require a valid ID of all new customers.
    • Keep records of purchases.
    • Talk to customers, ask questions, and listen to and observe their responses.
    • Make note of suspicious statements, people and/or vehicles.
    • If something seems wrong, notify law enforcement authorities.



    http://www.activistpost.com/2012/02/...on-terror.html



    The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

    PDF: http://s3.documentcloud.org/document...t-guidance.pdf

    https://theintercept.com/2014/07/23/blacklisted/

    Last edited by islamirama; Jan-17-2017 at 05:26 PM.

  5. #5
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    Complaints Describe Border Agents Interrogating Muslim Americans, Asking for Social Media Accounts


    Murtaza Hussain


    January 14 2017
    Customs and Border Protection agents have been invasively questioning Muslim-Americans at U.S. border crossings about their political and religious beliefs, asking for their social media information, and demanding passwords to open mobile phones, according to a set of complaints filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).


    In one case, a 23-year old American citizen alleges that he was choked by a CBP agent after declining to hand over his phone for inspection while crossing the border back from Canada.


    The complaints deal with the cases of nine people who have been stopped at various U.S. border crossings, eight of whom are American citizens, and one Canadian. They were filed to the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Justice.


    The allegations come in the wake of The Intercept’s report that CBP agents have been working with the FBI to pressure Muslims entering the U.S. to become informants. Reports of racial profiling at the border have been endemic in recent years. In 2015, The Intercept also reported on portions of a questionnaire used by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents that included invasive questions about religious practices and beliefs.


    In recent years a number of lawsuits have been filed over alleged incidents of discrimination and racial profiling at border crossings. In 2014, the U.S. Attorney General’s office announced rules intended to prevent racial profiling by federal law enforcement agents.

    Those measures excluded Department of Homeland Security agencies like CBP, however, leaving the door open to continued abuses. And while warrants are normally required for federal authorities to search cellphones, this requirement does not apply at border crossings.


    The complaints filed by CAIR allege that CBP agents have been asking travelers questions including, “are you a devout Muslim”, “what do you think of the United States”, and “what are your views about jihad?” The complaints also say that people have reported being asked whether they attend a mosque and what their opinions are about various terrorist groups.


    The complaints also allege that border agents have asked American citizens to provide their social media information at the border. A report in Politico last December indicated that some foreign travelers would soon be asked for social media information, but did not mention possible implications for American citizens.


    One of the cases in the complaints involved Akram Shibly, a 23-year-old American citizen from Buffalo. He told The Intercept that he had been detained at the border during two separate incidents in early January, including one where he says agents physically assaulted him when he declined to give them his cellphone.


    During the first incident, while driving back to the United States from Canada on New Year’s Day, he and his fiancée were pulled aside, searched and interrogated by border agents. Shibly said that he and his fiancée’s cellphones were confiscated and taken into a back room out of view. They were given forms to fill out that asked for passwords to unlock their devices, as well as for their email addresses and information about their family backgrounds — requests that they complied with.


    “They told us that if you don’t have anything to hide, give us your phones and give us your passwords,” Shibly said.


    During his interrogation, agents asked Shibly about his travel history and some religious practices, as well as his work as a filmmaker. (Shibly operates a YouTube channel where he posts recorded discussions on a variety of subjects.)


    After being detained for roughly an hour and a half, Shibly and his fiancée were given their phones back and let go.


    A few days later however, driving back from Canada on another trip, they were stopped again. After being taken aside for questioning and asked for his cellphone once more, this time Shibly declined.


    “I had already regretted letting them go through my personal information a few days earlier, and this time I told them I do not feel comfortable giving you my phone,” Shibly said.


    At that point, three CBP agents physically accosted him as he sat in a chair next to his fiancée, with one grabbing him from behind by the neck, another pinning his legs down, and a third agent reaching into his pocket to grab his phone, he said.


    “I was sitting down, I wasn’t violent, I wasn’t yelling or charging at them, but they treated me like I was a violent criminal,” Shibly said. “I told them I’m an American citizen and was born and raised here, and one of the agents told me: ‘We don’t know if you’re really an American citizen, we’ll let you know when our investigation is complete.’ ”


    After being detained for about 45 minutes, Shibly and his fiancée were let go. He said that before they left, another CBP officer apologized for his harsh treatment.


    But Shibly fears more harassment in the future. “I honestly feel very traumatized. I love to travel, but now I feel like every time I come home I’m going be harassed and treated like a criminal for no reason,” he said.


    When reached for comment, a spokesman for CBP said that the agency is, “aware of the allegations made by Mr. Shibly and they are currently being investigated by another agency.” The spokesman added that they could not comment further due to the ongoing investigation.


    Warrantless confiscation and search of personal electronics at the border has become a major civil liberties issue, due to the wealth of personal data stored on such devices. According to DHS guidelines on border searches, CBP agents not only have the power to seize electronics, but can also “copy the contents of [an] electronic device for a more in-depth border search at a later time.”


    A 2010 lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to stop such practices was dismissed in 2013, allowing the CBP to continue what the group criticizes as “intrusive searches of Americans’ laptops and other electronics” at ports of entry. These searches remain a “contested legal issue” today according to the ACLU. But the group also notes that, although they may suffer delays, “U.S. citizens cannot be denied entry to the United States for refusing to provide passwords or unlock devices.”


    Civil liberties groups fear that harassment at the border will intensify during the Trump administration. Trump has suggested that Muslim immigrants may be subject to “extreme vetting” at the border or even outright bans from entry, depending on their immigration status. Any directives that encourage racial profiling are likely to have adverse effects for communities that are already facing racial profiling issues under President Obama.


    Shibly says that despite being physically accosted by CBP agents, he would not have given them access to his phone if he had known that they could not bar him from entry for refusing.


    “They are taking advantage of people’s ignorance of their rights at the border and are using that to pry into our personal life,” he says. “But now there is a real risk for us, because officers are not only demanding our personal information but are getting violent if we don’t provide it.”



    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/14/...edia-accounts/

    Comments:

    If you are traveling across border to or from USA, it' would be best to back up your phone data to a PC and do a factory reset and then use that with only your contacts information in here. There's no need to have your facebook, watsapp, snapchat, etc. accounts and apps installed and logged into, nor that endless photo gallery of pictures you take but never take off of your phone. You have to remember you are not living a carefree world with no one to harass you, and you are definitely not a white american to use your white privilege and not get harassed.

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    A New Lawsuit Claims a Secretive, Bush-Era Program Is Delaying Muslims’ Citizenship Cases

    2016

    Thirteen Muslim Missouri residents are suing the US Citizenship and Immigration Services along with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, alleging the agencies have unlawfully delayed their applications for citizenship.


    The complaint alleges that the immigrants' applications were funneled into a secretive Bush-era program called the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CARRP) that requires immigration officials to flag applicants as national security threats based on a broad range of criteria.


    The American Civil Liberties Union, which uncovered the program in 2013, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations say it illegally discriminates against applicants from Muslim-majority countries. Last year, Buzzfeed reported that this heightened review process was being used to screen incoming Syrian refugees.


    The federal lawsuit was filed today by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Missouri and a local immigration litigation law firm that's representing the Missouri Muslims who applied for citizenship.


    "The CARRP definition illegally brands innocent, law-abiding residents, like [the] plaintiffs—none of whom pose a security threat—as 'national security concerns' on account of innocuous activity and associations, innuendo, suppositions and characteristics such as national origin," the lawsuit says.


    USCIS does not comment on pending litigation and a spokesman declined to comment specifically about the case. The agency would not say if the plaintiffs were subject to the heightened vetting program, citing privacy concerns.


    By law, USCIS is expected to process applications for naturalization within six months of receiving them, and it must make a decision on a case within four months of interviewing the applicant. However, if an immigrant is flagged for national security concerns, USCIS places the case on the CARRP track, without notifying the applicant, according to the lawsuit. Such cases are often subject to lengthy delays and cannot be approved, "except in limited circumstances," the lawsuit says, citing the testimony of a USCIS witness in a previous case.


    One of the plaintiffs in the Missouri lawsuit, a 49-year-old woman from Iraq named Wafaa Alwan, applied for citizenship in December 2014. She waited eight months for an interview, which finally took place Aug. 31, 2015. She has been waiting for a decision ever since.Syed Asghar Ali, a 47-year-old man from Pakistan, named filed his application in March 2014 and has been in limbo for more than two years, the lawsuit says.
    An immigrant who is subject to the heightened vetting program can be flagged for, among other things, donating to a charitable organization that was later designated a financier of terrorism, traveling through or living in an area with terrorist activity as well as making or receiving a large money transfer.


    Immigrants may also be flagged if their names appear on the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database, also known as the Terrorist Watch List, which is estimated to include over a million names. More than 40 percent of those on the watch list have been described by the government as having "no recognized terrorist group affiliation," according to The Intercept.



    The lawsuit alleges that this process places an unnecessary burden on law-abiding applicants from Muslim-majority countries in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It also argues that the program violates the Constitution because was enacted in secret, without the approval of Congress.


    Although USCIS declined to respond directly to these allegations, a spokesman told Mother Jones that the agency often needs additional time to thoroughly vet each immigrant who applies for citizenship. The program is meant to ensure that immigration benefits and services are not given to people who may pose a threat to public safety, the spokesman emphasized.


    The last time a major civil rights organization filed this kind of lawsuit was in 2014, when the ACLU sued USCIS on behalf on five California residents. However, shortly after it was filed, the government quickly wrapped up the pending citizenship applications, granting three of the plaintiffs citizenship and denying the applications of the other two. After that, the ACLU and their clients dropped the legal case.


    This happens frequently, said Jim Hacking, the lead attorney on the Missouri case that was filed today. That includes a 2008 lawsuit he filed on behalf of three dozen immigrants whose applications were pulled into the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program.


    "When I filed for the 36 [clients], cases that had been delayed for three, four, five years all of a sudden became a priority," he said. "This is because the government tries to root out the case. They don't want a federal judge ruling on whether CARRP is legal or illegal. So they try to get rid of all the plaintiffs by either approving or denying their case."
    Hacking expects the new Missouri case may end the same way.


    USCIS also declined to comment on the decision to resolve the applications of immigrants in the 2014 case.


    Even if the new case doesn't end in a court ruling, Hacking hopes it will put the program back in the spotlight. If society is going to hold Muslims to a higher standard when it comes to immigration and assume that they're terrorists then we should do it out in the open and debate it, Hacking said.


    "Let's not just let an agency decide on its own that this is the way things are going to be," he said "That's not how America is supposed to work."

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...eid=83e6bcb3fa

  7. #7
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    What Are Your Rights if Border Agents Want to Search Your Phone?


    By DANIEL VICTOR - FEB. 14, 2017

    Haisam Elsharkawi was about to travel from Los Angeles to Saudi Arabia last week when, he says, he was stopped at the airport, questioned, handcuffed, questioned some more and then released without charges three hours after his flight had departed.

    Mr. Elsharkawi, 34, an American citizen, said in an interview on Monday that officers from the United States Customs and Border Protection repeatedly pressured him to unlock his cellphone so that they could scroll through his contacts, photos, apps and social media accounts.

    He said they threatened to seize the phone if he did not comply.

    "I travel all the time, and I was never asked to unlock my phone," said Mr. Elsharkawi, an electronics salesman from Anaheim, Calif. "I have personal photos there, which I think is normal for anyone. It's my right. It's my phone."

    Eventually, he relented, and a Homeland Security agent looked through his phone for about 15 minutes, he said.

    A NASA scientist, Sidd Bikkannavar, said he had a similar experience to Mr. Elsharkawi's in January, when he was detained at the Houston airport until he handed over a NASA-issued phone for inspection, he told The Verge.

    So before you travel, here's some information on what border agents can and cannot do, along with recommendations from lawyers.

    Border agents have broad authority to search

    American border agents have the legal authority to conduct searches at the United States border that a police officer on the street wouldn't. Laws that allow agents to search bags without a judge's approval, for the purposes of immigration or security compliance, have been extended to digital devices.

    But activists say inspecting a digital device is far more intrusive than inspecting a suitcase. They noted that the device can contain not just personal photos and messages, but could also compromise anyone else the owner may have communicated with.

    "Before government agents should be able to go rifling through that trove of private data, they should have a very good reason based on individualized suspicion of illegal activity,"
    said Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union. "People's most private details of their lives will be made bare without justification."

    The policies that give border agents the latitude to search or seize devices were used under the Obama administration, to much criticism. There's no available data to suggest that they are happening more under the administration of President Trump, though activists say they have anecdotally heard of more reports.

    A customs agency spokesman said the agency could not comment on individual cases. But he said agents had inspected 4,444 cellphones and 320 other electronic devices in 2015, amounting to 0.0012 percent of the 383 million arrivals. Figures on 2016 and 2017 were not yet available.

    Can agents force you to unlock your phone or laptop?

    No. But they can ask you to comply voluntarily and make the experience rather uncomfortable if you resist. Travelers must decide how much trouble they're willing to put up with.

    You may end up losing your device, since agents could
    seize the device for weeks before it is returned. They could also copy the data. (That data must be destroyed "as expeditiously as possible" if it is not valuable, according to Homeland Security policy.)

    Travelers have reported that they've been detained for hours and questioned aggressively. Mr. Elsharkawi, whose trip included a pilgrimage to Mecca after an 18-hour layover in Istanbul, said his payment for his Turkish Airlines flight was not refunded after he missed it.

    Travelers who are not citizens could have further problems, especially if they're flying into the United States. While citizens are guaranteed re-entry, foreign nationals could be denied entry, and the law isn't clear on permanent residents, said Sophia Cope, a staff lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization that defends civil liberties in the digital age.

    In October, for example, a Canadian journalist on his way to cover the Dakota Access oil pipeline protests was denied entry into the United States after he declined to unlock his phone, citing the need to protect his sources.

    "People have to figure out what is their tolerance for risk, and what do they want to accomplish," Ms. Cope said.

    Can agents force you to turn over social media passwords?

    No. But those who unlock their phones are most likely giving agents full access to their social media accounts, even if they don't tell them the passwords.


    Since most people remain logged into their accounts on their phones, unlocking the phone would allow officers to sift through private Facebook posts, direct messages on Twitter and Instagram photos that are set to be accessible to friends only.

    Mr. Elsharkawi did not give agents his social media passwords. But when he allowed an officer to look through his phone, he said, she commented on his emails and apps. He doesn't know if she looked through his social media accounts, he added.

    Some activists fear gaining access to social media accounts will become a greater focus for border agents. Last week, John F. Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, said officials were considering a policy that would allow agents to ask refugees and immigrants for their social media login information. The Obama administration considered a similar move but never put it into effect.

    While that policy would not apply to citizens, Ms. Cope said, it would be "a very small step for them to start doing that to Americans, as well."

    What can you do to prepare?

    Travel with the least amount of data you need.


    Hassan Shibly, the chief executive director of Council on American-Islamic Relations-Florida, suggested that people buy "burner phones" that they can discard before entering the airport.

    Ms. Cope said people should power down their devices before getting to the airport, and encrypt the data they travel with. (Wired has a guide to the technical aspects of keeping your data safe.)

    What should you do if it happens to you?

    It's an individual decision. As a matter of principle, said Robert McCaw, the director of government affairs at CAIR, people should not unlock their devices. And they should request a lawyer.

    "There's absolutely no reason why the federal government should be asking you for your password to your computer or your social media without a warrant. Period," Mr. McCaw said. "There's no justification."

    But some activists said it's understandable why some people comply to such a demand, depending on what they have to lose by resisting.

    Mr. Elsharkawi, who lives in Anaheim with his wife and three children, said requesting legal assistance appeared to inflame his situation.

    "I opened the doors of hell when I asked for a lawyer," he said. "They just started attacking me verbally. 'Why do you need a lawyer? Are you a criminal? What are you hiding?' "

    After allowing the Homeland Security officer to examine his phone, he said, he was immediately released.


    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/business/border-enforcement-airport-phones.html

  8. #8
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    CAIR DFW's Statement on Muslim Ban 2.0

    video: https://www.facebook.com/ajplusengli...5276238613884/


    A message from our Civil Rights Director, Nikiya Natale:

    As salam alaykum,

    As I am sure many of you are aware, President Trump signed a revised Muslim ban executive order yesterday. Do not be fooled - this is a Muslim ban. Written in the same spirit and with the same unconstitutional policy outcome as Trump's first attempt at a Muslim ban, the latest executive order relies on the input of some of the country's most notorious Islamophobes to discriminatorily target some of the world's most needy. This order is justa a preview of future anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant policy proposals being fed to Trump by his advisors.

    WHEN IT WILL GO INTO EFFECT:

    This order bars the entry of individuals from six Muslim-majority nations from entering the country for 90 days as well as suspends the refugee resettlement program for 120 days. The order goes into effect on March 16, 2017.

    WHO WILL BE IMPACTED:

    Nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who do not hold a valid visa will be barred from entry for the 90 day period of the executive order. The order does not apply to Iraqi nationals, dual citizens, and those with valid visas or travel documents. The order also carves out numerous exceptions that will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Refugee resettlement is temporarily halted, and the U.S. will admit no more than 50,000 refugees for fiscal year 2017.

    Read the full text of the order here.

    HOW TO GET HELP:

    Should you have any questions, concerns, or have loved ones affected by the most recent executive order, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office. Please submit an incident report or call 469-554-0786 or email info@cair-dfw.org for more information.

    Sincerely,

    Nikiya Natale, Esq.
    Civil Rights Director

  9. #9
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    These blog is helpful for me thanking you.


 

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