• Description

The Depart­ment of Home­land Secur­ity (DHS) has a prob­lem with discrim­in­at­ory profil­ing. Too often, it relies on reli­gious, ethnic, or racial stereo­types in carry­ing out its expans­ive coun­terter­ror­ism mandate, as well as its other func­tions. DHS agents ques­tion Muslim trav­el­ers about their reli­gious views when they enter the United States and single out Latino communit­ies for deten­tion and deport­a­tion.  They detain Amer­ic­ans at the border simply based on their coun­try of birth.  Officers charged with identi­fy­ing poten­tially risky trav­el­ers by look­ing for suspi­cious beha­vi­ors have said that the scien­tific­ally discred­ited program they used amoun­ted to a back door for racial profil­ing. The admin­is­tra­tion has disavowed anti-extrem­ism programs that wrongly assumed that Muslims are predis­posed to terror­ism, and yet DHS contin­ues to fund similar initi­at­ives.

DHS must strengthen its nondis­crim­in­a­tion rules, ensure that those rules cover all its activ­it­ies, and develop effect­ive account­ab­il­ity mech­an­isms. Build­ing on our recom­mend­a­tions in A Course Correc­tion for Home­land Secur­ity: Curb­ing Coun­terter­ror­ism Abuses, this report proposes a model policy that would close current gaps. The secret­ary of home­land secur­ity has the author­ity to adopt such a policy and should waste no time in doing so.