Posted on June 05, 2018 in Domestic Policy


Civil liberties are personal freedoms granted to all United States citizens by the U.S. Constitution; these include freedoms of speech, assembly, religion, right to privacy, right to a fair trial, and equal protection under the law. Unfortunately, these rights are not always applied equally and consistently. This is especially the case with minority and immigrant communities, who are often subjected to arbitrary profiling and unlawful surveillance. Profiling occurs when an individual’s race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin is used by law enforcement as a proxy for criminal...

Good enough for government work? Joint DOJ/DHS terrorism report presents misleading data.

Posted by Kai Wiggins on January 18, 2018 in Blog

At yesterday’s White House press briefing, Edward O’Callaghan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Justice Department’s National Security Division, discussed some of the findings published in Tuesday’s joint DOJ/DHS report on terrorism and immigration. The long-overdue report was released amidst an immigration debate on Capitol Hill that has seen spasmodic eruptions in recent days. Questions regarding the timing of the release, which a senior administration official assured was merely “coincidental,” aside, the 11-page report has been the subject of many more...

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AAI Briefing: "No Fly, No Buy" and the "Terrorist Watch List"

Posted by Guest on September 24, 2016 in Blog
The Arab American Institute hosted a congressional briefing on Friday, September 23rd about profiling and due process concerns that arise with government watch-listing. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D, MI-12) provided opening remarks ahead of a panel of experts on civil rights.
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Due Process, Gun Control, Watch Lists & the Senate

Posted by Kristin Mccarthy on June 16, 2016 in Blog

There are multiple pieces of gun control legislation that have been pieced together in response to the horrific mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. All four Senate proposals (and the potential compromise bill) are seeking to “keep guns out of the hands of terrorists,” which is hardly a disagreeable goal; terrorists should not have guns, terrorists should be in jail. The Senate is expected to vote on them this Monday. However agreeable the goal of these bills are, the legal method by which the bills will deny constitutionally protected rights...

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Airline Bigotry: Comical and Real

Posted by Nadia Aziz on April 21, 2016 in Blog

Reports of discrimination against Arab Americans and American Muslims on flights have become so common they are becoming comical, literally. Major outlets online and on air are now using the incidents as skit material. (Well worth checking out if you haven’t already.) But one U.S. Senator doesn’t see the incidents as a laughing matter and we agree.  Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) has written to President and CEO of Airlines for American (A4A), the trade organization representing U.S. based airlines. Expressing concern over several reports of...

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Trouble Comes, As Trouble Goes Vol. 14 No. 10

Posted on March 16, 2016 in Countdown
AAI's weekly take on news from Washington, around the country, and abroad.
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AAI Congressional Briefing: DOJ Guidance on Profiling

Posted by Nisreen Eadeh on November 04, 2015 in Blog

In June 2003, Attorney General Ashcroft issued the Department of Justice's Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, which said that federal "law enforcement ought not to profile when engaging in their duties." As AAI Executive Director Maya Berry said at the briefing last week, "this makes sense," but there were too many loopholes exempting certain law enforcement from adhering to the guidance. As a result, The Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, updated the Guidance in December 2014 to include not only racial profiling, but profiling based on ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation,...

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#Yalla2016 Day 2: Domestic Issues We Must Confront: Profiling, Surveillance, Hate, and Exclusion

Posted by Nadia Aziz on October 29, 2015 in Blog

The second day of AAI’s National Leadership Conference in Dearborn, Michigan focused largely on developing political platforms ahead of the 2016 election. In particular, the domestic policy discussion touched on programs and initiatives that have direct impacts on the lives on Arab Americans.  The topics discussed were profiling, Countering Violent Extremism programs and effectiveness, and hate crimes.

Sakira Cook of the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights discussed how profiling is one of the practices that disproportionately impacts minority communities. Giving context to the Department of Justice’s Guidelines on Profiling, she...

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Arab Americans Organize in Dearborn Ahead of 2016 Elections

Posted by Kristin Mccarthy on October 16, 2015 in Blog

The Arab American Institute will convene a 3-day summit in Dearborn, Michigan October 23-25 bringing together Arab American leaders from across the country. This quadrennial summit is held ahead of Presidential election years to provide a forum for presidential candidates to address and hear from the Arab American community, and for our community’s leaders to outline the Arab American platform. 

In the iconic cultural center of the Arab American community, organizers, political activists, students, policy experts, and academic leaders will meet to advance the national dialogue on the domestic and foreign policy priorities particularly affecting Arab Americans.

Over the course...

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