We hear you

by Jeannine Sherman
Thursday April 21, 2022

Recently someone wrote to us concerned about surveillance. This is a huge topic, and we probably don’t talk about it enough in this country.

The question went something like this: “We are concerned about constant digital and in-person surveillance. Doesn’t this availability of private information make us powerless in our day-to-day lives?”

This question is important for what we do and what we stand for. Surveillance-related issues are at the heart of most of the cases we select. In the legal world, there isn’t a simple way to challenge all surveillance tactics at the same time. We have to be persistent about challenging surveillance practices in various kinds of legal situations. This is what we do.

Through our funding of the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America (CLCMA), we are the only organization that challenges surveillance as unlawful in the context of criminal prosecutions, civil actions, and immigration proceedings.

Here are a few examples:

  • In criminal cases, we challenge warrantless searches that occurred prior to arrest.
  • In immigration cases, we challenge the extreme vetting of Muslim immigrants, as well as the unfair and unconstitutional practices of the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CARRP).
  • In civil litigation cases, we challenge the presumption that Muslim Americans automatically present security risks, a generalization that wrongly leads to placement on terrorist watchlists. We also challenge excessive surveillance and the unlawful search policies that pervade near our borders.

Surveillance is an issue that is not going away, but we are not going anywhere either. With your help we are going to keep fighting to end the government’s unwarranted and excessive surveillance of American Muslims.