December 1, 2011 (Washington, DC) - A diverse coalition of 38 civil rights organizations led by the Sikh Coalition is demanding an independent audit of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to determine whether the agency engages in racial profiling.
In a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, the groups expressed concern about recent news reports that TSA officers openly targeted Mexican and Dominican travelers for extra scrutiny at airports in Hawaii and New Jersey. TSA officers at the Honolulu International Airport targeted Mexicans so often that their colleagues called them the “Mexicutioners.”
The letter also notes that Sikh travelers are routinely selected for secondary screening at some American airports, even after clearing advanced imaging technology machines without incident.
The Sikh Coalition believes that these troubling reports are the tip of the iceberg for TSA profiling. Based on Sikh experience, we’ve long suspected that TSA officers are engaged in a pattern of profiling minorities instead of focusing on criminal behavior. Only an independent, publicly-reported audit can reveal the full extent to which TSA officers are violating rights, wasting taxpayer dollars, and undermining national security.
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