In the years after 9/11, Sikh Americans were subjected to profiling on the basis of their actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity and national origin. The problem is particularly acute for Sikh travelers, who experience discriminatory TSA screening at American airports. Profiling not only stigmatizes its victims but also makes our nation less safe because it redirects law enforcement resources away from detecting and preventing actual criminal behavior. Sadly, there is currently little that victims can do to hold the government accountable for profiling.
Since the beginning of 2019, the Sikh Coalition has documented an increase in denials of self-pat downs and suspect screening procedures against Sikhs. The Sikh Coalition continues to support passage of the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act (ERRPA), which would prohibit invidious profiling throughout the United States. After our 2019 testimony on TSA profiling, we also helped to craft–and still support the passage of–the Screening with Dignity Act, introduced by Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D-NY).
We are currently working with the TSA and other Sikh organizations to proactively address the issue of TSA profiling via an updated training for agency personnel. In the interim, however, we are using technology to hold TSA accountable. Our free FlyRights webpage allows travelers to file official complaints of mistreatment and discrimination against TSA from the convenience of their phones, tablets, or computers. These official complaints are transmitted directly to TSA and help policymakers address problems before they spiral out of control.
- + TSA complaints have been filed using the FlyRights app
- s of TSA and CBP employees
- + downloads of the FlyRights app
To date, many hundreds of travelers have used FlyRights, filing more than 900 complaints against the TSA. Because of the persistence of the Sikh Coalition, the incidence of Sikhs being forced to remove their turbans at American airports has been drastically reduced. The Sikh Coalition continues to inform the TSA of problematic screening procedures that unfairly target Sikh travelers.
How You Can Help
Visit Flyrights on your computer or mobile phone
File Complaints of TSA Discrimination
"I have traveled numerous times after that incident and have clearly noticed a shift in TSA practices. I sincerely thank the Sikh Coalition for providing Sikhs a solid legal platform to address religious discrimination."
Daman Deep Singh