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TSA and Racial Profiling

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I have my shocked face on, knowing that TSA racially profiles people it believes of Muslim or Latino descent.

A new study based on thousands of internal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) documents has excoriated a controversial screening program as reliant on dubious behavioral science and amounting to surveillance of scores of unsuspecting air travelers, particularly Muslims and Latinos.

The study, conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after a years-long transparency lawsuit, may add to the anxiety of travelers in the Donald Trump era and particularly non-Americans, whom Trump’s executive orders on immigration explicitly note do not enjoy legal privacy protections.

In particular, the TSA documents indicate a substantial focus on Arabs, Muslims and Latinos, despite repeated TSA assurances that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) component does not profile travelers based on ethnicity, race or religion.

“Because the techniques that the TSA are using are not grounded in valid science, those techniques raise an unacceptable risk of racial and religious profiling,” said the ACLU’s Hugh Handeyside, one of the attorneys in the TSA lawsuit.

“The documents show the use of those techniques become a license to harass. They can easily give way to implicit or explicit bias.”

The study reveals that the TSA concluded in internal investigations that its officials engaged in such profiling. At Newark Liberty international airport in New Jersey, a supervisor, ultimately demoted, instructed “profiling of passengers based on race” and made “improper law enforcement referrals to Customs and Border Protection”.

At Logan airport in Boston, agents implemented “a procedure for profiling or identifying illegal aliens”, something beyond the mandate of the TSA. Investigations of TSA profiling allegations also occurred at Chicago, Honolulu and Miami airports.

It’s almost as if the United States is a horribly racist nation! I wonder what would happen if we elected a fascist who nominated a neoConfederate to be Attorney General and had a Nazi as his chief advisor? At least such a candidate wouldn’t represent the interests of Goldman Sachs!

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