Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Over 30 Civil Rights Groups Condemn Trump’s Customs And Border Protection Proposal For Invasive Screening Of Chinese Travelers

Civil Rights Groups to Submit Comprehensive Letter to CBP Opposing Unjust Border Policy
LOS ANGELES — Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), alongside a diverse group of civil rights, civil liberties, and community-based organizations, have signed on to a comprehensive letter to the U.S. Customs And Border Protection (CBP) condemning their proposal to collect social media identifiers from visitors from China. In light of Muslim Ban border policies that have been halted by federal judges and invasive screening practices that have discriminately targeted Muslim American travelers and travelers from Muslim-majority countries, our organizations are alarmed that Trump’s CBP now proposes to target visitors from China.
In February, CBP announced a policy proposing to collect social media identifying information from long term visa holders from China via its Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS).  More than 30 organizations have signed onto the letter opposing this proposal, representing a wide cross section of groups including Asian American and Pacific Islander, Muslim American, immigrant rights and civil rights and civil liberties organizations. These organizations believe this proposal would “lead to increased profiling based on race and national origin, erode Internet freedom and individual privacy, and would ultimately be an ineffective use of CBP resources.”
Civil rights and civil liberties organizations have consistently stood against such social media information collection as a violation of privacy and contrary to our constitutional values. Collecting information about someone’s online presence is highly invasive, and CBP has not outlined any protections to prevent misjudgment or misuse of visitors’ information, which could have a disastrous impact on travelers.
Advancing Justice stands against the wholesale targeting of people and believe this policy would exacerbate race, religion and national origin-based profiling. People of Chinese and Asian origin have long faced exclusion, surveillance, and targeting by the U.S. government, and this policy would serve as yet another example. CBP's adoption of such a policy would only fan the flames of anti-China and anti-Asian sentiment in the U.S., which is already on the rise. The bottom line is that racial or religious profiling has never been and will never be an effective national security tool.
This proposed policy is not yet final, and it is open to public comment until April 24. Now is the time community members can make their voices heard to try and block this proposal from becoming the rule. We urge community members to express opposition to this policy by submitting a comment directly to CBP, which they can do through Advancing Justice’s targeted letter campaign that sends individuals’ comments directly to CBP, or by following the instructions on the federal register website.
Read the full letter here.
Jessica Jinn, (213) 241-8817, [email protected]
About Advancing Justice - LA: 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation's members are: Advancing Justice - AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice - Los Angeles, Advancing Justice - Atlanta, Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), and Advancing Justice - Chicago.
Monday, April 17, 2017
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