US lawmakers want Obama admin to stop racial profiling of Sikhs, Muslims

Travel

Around 16 Congressmen signed off to a letter asking the Transportation Security Administration – the federal agency responsible for security of airports in the country – to stop racial profiling of people from South Asia and Middle East including Black, Sikhs and Muslims travelers.

"Despite efforts to prevent profiling by its screeners, news reports indicate that (TSA) Transportation Security Administration screeners continue to subject Sikh, South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Black travellers to profiling. In the past few months incidents have occurred at airports in Massachusetts, Hawaii and New Jersey," Congressman Judy Chu said in his dear colleague letter urging them to sign the letter addressed to the TSA Administrator, John S Pistole.

A dear colleague letter is a letter sent by one member of a legislative body to all fellow members, usually describing a new bill and asking for cosponsors or seeking to influence the recipients' votes on an issue.

At the time of sending the dear colleague letter, as many as 16 Congressmen had signed the letter addressed to Pistole bringing to hos notice the racial, ethnic and religious profiling occurring at US airports.

"This past August, news reports indicated that (TSA) Transportation Security Administration screeners at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts subjected minorities to profiling, in particular Latinos, blacks and those who appeared to be from the Middle East. Similar allegations have been made in recent months about TSA screeners at airports in Hawaii and New Jersey," the letter said.

"Although there were reports that these screeners are being retrained in these locations, this is not enough. We therefore request a briefing on everything that TSA is doing to address racial, ethnic and religious profiling which continues to be an issue for the Sikh, South Asian, Arab, Muslim, Hispanic and Black travelers," the Congressmen say in the letter.

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