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Florida Muslims Join National Lawsuit Against DHS for Placement on Terror Watchlist

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For Immediate Release
Florida Muslims Join National Lawsuit
Against DHS for Placement on Terror
(MIAMI, FL, 8/7/18) – The Florida Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), the State’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced the filing of a federal lawsuit on behalf of several Muslim travelers, mostly U.S. citizens, against the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), among other government agencies, for their placement on a terror watch list.
CAIR-Florida, along with several other CAIR chapters nationwide and headed by the CAIR Legal Defense Fund in Washington D.C. filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of Maryland this afternoon. The complaint cites that their clients constantly experience travel delays, unreasonable monitoring, questioning, and property seizures while traveling, all due to their placement on a terror watch list, though none of the travelers have ever been charged with or convicted of a terror-related offense.
At the press conference, CAIR-Florida will announce its new constitutional challenge to the federal government’s watchlist system, including the TSA’s recently revealed Quiet Skies program. 
WHAT: CAIR-Florida Press Conference: Federal Lawsuit
Challenging American Muslims’ Placement on Terror Watch List(*Plaintiff(s) Present & Available for Interviews)
WHEN: Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 12:30 PM
WHERE: 1507 S Hiawassee Rd. Suite 212, Orlando, Florida 32835
Omar Saleh, CAIR-Florida's attorney stated, “Our clients along with others are American citizens who have never been charged with or convicted of any terror-related offense. They are singled out and put on a watch list which subjects them to constant harassment and travel delays without notice or opportunity to address placement on this list. This is a violation of their due process right and we want the Court to rule that the government's arbitrary placement of those on the watch list simply by virtue of their religion is not only counterproductive, but unconstitutional."
Quiet Skies punishes those who—through family, community or the workplace—have relationships with individuals the federal government has designated as a “known or suspected terrorist.” The program imposes indiscriminate surveillance upon a designee’s family members, friends, co-workers, and travel companions at airports and on airplanes.
The lawsuit’s plaintiffs are more than a dozen innocent American Muslims and their families—people who have not been charged, arrested, or convicted of a terrorism-related crime—from Washington DC, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, Kansas, and New Jersey.
The federal government uses the watchlist system to, as one judge described it, “transfor[m] a person into a second class citizen, or worse.” 
Targets of the watchlist system can be denied the ability to travel by air, subject to invasive and stigmatizing searches and interrogations, detained for hours at border crossings, have their electronics seized, be deprived of the right to purchase a firearm, and have their bank accounts closed—in addition to other innumerable consequences that flow from the government’s secretive watchlists.
The watchlist singles out innocent Muslims. The stigmatizing label of “terrorist” impairs their family, religious, business and employment relationships regardless of their innocence. 
CAIR has filed multiple challenges to the government’s watchlist system along with multiple lawsuits to allow Americans who are subject to the system’s flight ban return to the United States. 
About CAIR-Florida / Acerca de CAIR-Florida
CAIR-Florida's mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR-Florida es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, proteger las libertades civiles, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
Media Contacts:
Wilfredo Ruiz
Communications Director
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Omar Saleh
Civil Rights Attorney
954.272.0490 ext. 110
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© 2018 CAIR Florida, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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