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Muslim Advocates Eviscerates Trump Administration Proposal to Pervert National Security Screening

Muslim Advocates Eviscerates Trump Administration Proposal to Pervert National Security Screening

“This proposal amounts to religious profiling and should be addressed as such.”

Washington, DC –  Today, Muslim Advocates submitted public comments to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in response to the Department of State’s proposal to expand and make permanent its supplemental questionnaire for visa applicants in national security screenings.  Muslim Advocates previously submitted public comments denouncing this proposal when it was initially introduced by the State Department in Spring 2017.

According to Juvaria Khan, staff attorney at Muslim Advocates:

“This questionnaire will disproportionately target Muslims simply because of their religious background. Although the questionnaire doesn’t explicitly single out any particular group, there’s ample evidence to suggest that it’s focused on targeting Muslims and those from predominantly Muslim countries. Time and time again, the Trump administration has been unabashed in its explicit discrimination against Muslims by perverting screening practices. This is just erecting an invisible wall between the United States and majority-Muslim nations.

Without any evidence of a national security or intelligence benefit, this questionnaire will serve to worsen the stringent and burdensome screening process that Muslims are already subject to, and will pose a unique threat to the Muslim community’s right to privacy. In addition to being forced to provide travel history, employment history, and address history from the past fifteen years, visa applicants will also have to provide information from their social media platforms over the past five years.

These measures could very well exacerbate the chilling effect Muslims feel through already discriminatory surveillance and immigration policies.  It will also pose a huge administrative burden and potentially parallel demands from other governments. This proposal amounts to religious profiling and should be addressed as such.”

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.

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