As’ Salaamu Alaikum,

As the month of July wrapped up and some families begin returning home from their summer break while others head overseas during the holy days of Dhul Hijjah, CAIR-SFBA’s legal team were responding to the harassment of community members at the nation’s borders as well as intrusive questioning while attempting to return home. To ameliorate the effects of such questioning at the borders, CAIR-SFBA legal staff conducted Know Your Rights workshops on how to interact with law enforcement personnel in the country and CBP/TSA agents at the border. This month, our attorneys spoke at the Blossom Valley Community Center (BVMCC) in San Jose and Yaseen Foundation in Belmont. For details of our schedule this coming month, please visit our Events page.

Moreover, as you travel within or outside the U.S. through airports or land borders, community members found that they had their electronic devices searched despite not consenting to it, which CBP agents are worryingly authorized to do so, or detained and seized for an expanded period of time. In an age of expanded data storage and access capabilities which benefit both users as well as governmental agencies seeking to pry into your life, CAIR-SFBA recommends that travelers use backup storage devices to store data; alternative and disposable electronic devices and to disable identification features like retinal scans throughout the process. If you are worried about encountering hostile CBP agents during secondary screening or extended questioning, please read through our traveler’s Know Your Rights materials that can be accessed on our website.

As a general reminder, if you find yourself or a loved one a target of discrimination and harassment while traveling, at your workplace, at healthcare facilities and on school premises, please reach out to us through our incident report form. More generally, we recommend contacting our legal department at 408. 986.9874 for personalized legal consultations or reading through our Know Your Rights materials found on our website.

Ammad Rafiqi, Esq.
Civil Rights & Legal Services Coordinator