KARAMAH joins the Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (“ADC”), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (“MPAC”) and Sikh Coalition today to continue advocacy on the issue of the FBI’s latest CVE program called the Shared Responsibility Committees (“SRCs”). Please see below our letter to the Department of Justice and the CVE task force.
October 19, 2016
U.S. Department of Justice
National Security Division
The Countering Violent Extremism (“CVE”) Task Force
Director of the Office for Community Partnerships Department of Homeland Security
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the Arab American Institute, KARAMAH, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Sikh Coalition request an in person meeting with the Department of Justice (“DoJ”) & FBI to discuss the federal government’s Countering Violent Extremism (“CVE”) programs. While we welcome the recent decision to suspend the Shared Responsibility Committees (“SRCs”), we remained concerned that these committees will still be used, either in name or practice, to profile Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian Communities.
The SRCs are an FBI intervention program that sought to deputize community leaders to assist individuals who the FBI believes are “at risk” of becoming violent extremists. Even if law enforcement is entirely removed from these committees, we remain concerned that intervention programs like SRCs will continue and will implicate civil liberty concerns and chill constitutional rights. Moreover, we are also concerned that mental health professionals, lawyers, and other advocates will be pressured by law enforcement to share confidential information, much of which is protected from disclosure by various privileges protected under the law. We seek your assurance that these committees, ad hoc or otherwise, have been abandoned entirely.
In addition to SRCs, we’re also concerned about other government led pre-crime intervention programming. While we have heard confirmation that there will continue to be government led interventions, we have not received details of what these interventions are, what they hope to achieve, or government involvement in local intervention related meetings. We remain concerned that these programs will be spearheaded by local and state law enforcement, which are subject to little oversight and violate various civil rights as well.
The aforementioned groups are committed to ensuring that civil rights and civil liberties protections are implemented in all federal government programs. We respectfully request the DoJ and FBI to provide the following additional insight and context:
First, we request an in-person meeting with the DoJ and FBI detailing and clarifying all government led, supported and facilitated CVE programming. Second, we request a written statement clarifying whether the SRC program was ever implemented and if so, when and where, and if applicable, the date of suspension and termination. Third, we request information regarding all CVE programming led, supported or facilitated by state and local law enforcement of which the DoJ, FBI, and other federal agencies are aware.
The undersigned organizations are committed to working with federal, state and local officials to uphold civil rights while protecting national security. We thank you for your time and look forward to your response
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), KARAMAH, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Sikh Coalition