DHS Announces Changes To Airline Screening Program

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org

DHS Announces Changes To Airline Screening Program

Agency Will Veer Away From Institutionalized Racial Profiling

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced changes
to its international airline passenger screening process, discontinuing
its heavy reliance on racial profiling to focus more on
intelligence-based screening. In the wake of an attempted attack last
Christmas, the government had announced intensified airport screening of
the citizens of 14 nations flying to the United States.

 
Today’s announcement makes clear that DHS will continue to use
terrorism watch lists which, in their current form, have created
numerous false positives, wasted resources and hidden the real threats
to aviation security, while targeting innocent people. 
 
The American Civil Liberties Union called the announcement a step
in the right direction but warned against the continued use of bloated
watch lists.
 
The following can be attributed to Michael
German, ACLU Policy Counsel and former FBI Agent:
 
“Shifting our security focus to specific intelligence and away
from blatant racial profiling shows a thoughtful approach to security.
Racial profiling is not only unconstitutional and un-American; it is
also ineffective.
 
“The first line of defense can and should be old fashioned law
enforcement and intelligence work that stops plotters before they get to
the airport. But while it’s important to have reasonable policies, it’s
vital that those policies are implemented and followed correctly on the
ground.
 
“We’re discouraged that DHS will continue to rely on bloated and
ineffective watch lists. Until the watch lists are scrubbed clean of
innocent Americans, we cannot say our rights are truly protected in the
air.”
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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