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Civil Rights Groups Urge Release of Information on Unlawful Profiling and Surveillance Under President Trump’s Muslim Ban Executive Orders

Yesterday, the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center and Muslim Advocates urged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release key documents pertaining to the potential targeting of Muslims, and individuals perceived to be Muslim, during travel through the nation’s airports and other ports of entry.

In three Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the groups requested an expedited release of documentation about reported:

Searches of travelers’ phones and electronic devices.

Revocation of trusted traveler status for persons with Muslim-sounding names.

Coercion of travelers to sign forms abandoning their legal status in the U.S.

“Following the President’s executive orders and the many allegations that have surfaced of potential abuses by DHS, it is critical to obtain further information to determine whether DHS has been exercising its responsibilities in a discriminatory manner,” said Amir Ali, Supreme Court and Appellate Counsel for MacArthur Justice Center’s Washington D.C. office. “Americans have a right to know more than what they have been told about the chaos and targeting of innocent citizens, mostly Muslim, that took place in U.S. airports, as well as what the administration has done to avoid that chaos and targeting in round two of the Executive Order.”

“The implementation of President Trump’s first Muslim Ban Executive Order raised serious questions about whether federal law enforcement officials at airports and other ports of entry were engaged in unlawful profiling based on religion or race,” said Johnathan Smith, Legal Director for Muslim Advocates. “Our nation’s airports are not Constitution-free zones and these FOIA requests will ensure that the rights of all those who are in America are fully respected.”

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About the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center
Founded in 1985, the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center is one of the premier civil rights law firms in the United States. The MacArthur Justice Center has offices in Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, Oxford, MS, and Washington, DC. For additional information, visit Follow us on Twitter (@MacArthrJustice) and on Facebook ( for timely updates.

Keywords: executive order, Muslim Advocates, Muslim immigration ban, Trump

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