The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Matthew Allee, (202) 675-2312;

House Passes Bill Providing Redress For Those Erroneously Placed On Watch Lists

Matthew Allee, (202) 675-2312;


U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill late last night
establishing a process for innocent Americans to challenge their
erroneous placement on government watch lists. The inaccurate and
over-inclusive lists ensnare innocent travelers and waste resources
that could be spent on effective counterterrorism efforts.

559, sponsored by Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY), requires the
Secretary of Homeland Security to create an Office of Appeals and
Redress. The American Civil Liberties Union welcomes this development,
but reiterates its call on Congress and the Obama administration to
reexamine our nation's approach to watch lists.

The following can be attributed to Timothy Sparapani, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel:

the terror watch lists hit one million records last summer, it became
painfully clear that this system is fatally flawed. Representative
Clarke's bill is significant in that it provides the individual with a
means of seeking redress through appeal, and those erroneously caught
up in the web of watch lists will be well-served. But the burden of
correcting the error still remains on the victim and not those
responsible for allowing the lists to grow exponentially.

order to make the current watch lists more effective in keeping our
nation safe, they need to be scrubbed, retaining only individuals for
whom there is credible evidence of terrorist ties or activities. But it
remains critical that Congress and the Obama administration reexamine
and reform our whole approach to the watch list system."

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

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