Civil Rights Group Speak Out against Intrusive Tactics Used by the Department of Homeland Security

May 29, 2003

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

On May 29, 2003 the San Francisco Chronicle reported that "with mounting concern that Arab and Muslim U.S. citizens returning from overseas trips may be facing broader and more frequent questioning by customs agents, a civil rights group spoke out Wednesday against what it views as increasingly intrusive tactics by the Department of Homeland Security... Linda Sherif, the legal director for the San Francisco chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said at a news conference that she has noticed a disturbing pattern to accounts that have come to the organization's attention... 'Customs and immigration has you in a very vulnerable position, where they have the right to question you because they have a legitimate interest in making sure you don't have narcotics, agricultural products or weapons, and they kind of take advantage of that to step past that proper boundary and start asking about political beliefs, about religious beliefs and going through personal papers and reading them.'"