Washington, D.C. (March 15, 2010) – During a Congressional hearing reviewing the Transportation Security Administration’s 2011 Fiscal Year budget, Representative John Culberson, R-Texas, 7th District (Houston), demanded to know why the US Government refused to engage in racial and religious profiling when screening passengers at airports.
Rep. Culberson termed the decision of the US Government not to engage in racial or religious profiling “disturbing[,]. . .something that needs to change[, and that]. . .defies common sense.” He wondered what federal law could justify a policy against profiling. He further added that subjecting all persons who fly to security screening “is very frustrating” and that screeners should “zero in on the population that’s the problem”, persons perceived to be Muslim.
“The Constitution does not allow for profiling solely based on race or religion. Rep. Culberson’s assertion that the rights and protections granted by the Constitution go against common sense is disturbing,” said SALDEF Associate Executive Director Jasjit Singh. “As the revelations about Jihad Jane plainly demonstrate, Rep. Culberson’s plan would not protect the nation and the traveling public. His desire that passenger screening at airports be selectively enforced based on perceived race or religion runs counter to proven and effective security practices.”
The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund commends Ms. Gale Rossides, Acting Administrator of the Transportation Security Agency, for defending the government’s policy against racial and religious profiling and highlighting effective, non-discriminatory means to improve airport and passenger security during the March 4th, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security hearing. www.saldef.org.