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Many antiterrorism initiatives unfairly target Muslims and people of color. These policies violate constitutional values of fairness, equality, and freedom of religion.

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Why It Matters

Counterterrorism laws and policies that single out racial and religious minorities for scrutiny violate our country’s core values of equality and liberty. 

Brennan Center for Justice fights for a fairer, smarter approach. We are leading a challenge to President Trump’s Muslim ban, which barred citizens of several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. We also challenge extreme vetting rules, which unduly burden people seeking to travel to the U.S. and open the door for religious and ideological discrimination. We advocate for the Justice Department to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes by white supremacists. We have sounded the alarm about ineffective counterterrorism policies that target minority communities, such as Countering Violent Extremism initiatives, which treat all American Muslims as security threats and are often surveillance programs in disguise. 

Solutions

Stop the Muslim Ban

As we continue to challenge the ban in court, Congress should pass the NO BAN Act, which would end the exclusion of Muslims and make it harder for presidents to enact similar discriminatory measures in the future.

Roll Back Extreme Vetting

The new rules being implemented by the administration under the extreme vetting label should be rescinded or safeguards developed to prevent abuse and discrimination.

Allocate Terrorism Resources to Protect Minority Communities

White supremacist violence and hate crimes targeting people of color and marginalized communities should be given a higher priority by the Department of Justice. The department should collect and publish comprehensive data about domestic terrorism and hate crimes, allowing for an objective analysis of terrorism threats and the development of effective policies and practices that improve security for all Americans.

End Law Enforcement and Immigration Targeting of Minority Communities

Congress should pass the End Racial Profiling Act, which would prohibit profiling based on race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Read more in our Liberty & National Security solutions report.