American Turban

The Sikh Coalition revises their Sikh Air Travellers Guide

The Sikh Coalition has announced an update to their Sikh Air Travellers Guide:

Significantly, Sikhs should now expect to be secondarily screened 100 percent of the time at American airports, even after passing through so-called Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines.  Although TSA publicly asserts on its website that such machines can see through “layers of clothing,” the TSA has made clear in both word and practice that such machines are not powerful enough to see through Sikh turbans.  This means that, for Sikhs, the new AIT machines will lead to more — not less — screening of turbans.

A noteworthy item in this announcement is the support that Sikh Coalition has received from Members of Congress (who, incidentally, are all Democrats):

On January 7, 2011, Rep. Judy Chu (CA) issued a strong letter of inquiry to TSA in response to concerns raised by the Sikh Coalition and UNITED SIKHS.  The letter, which was co-signed by Reps. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX), Bobby Scott (VA), and Melvin Watt (NC), requests that TSA respond to a series of questions about its anti-profiling policies; its use of AIT machines; its protocol for resolving traveler complaints in a timely manner; and the need for TSA to undertake an audit of its screening policies.

Write to your Member of Congress (look up your representative here) to support the Sikh Coalition’s work in ensuring that Sikhs are not ethnically profiled (i.e. guilty, until proven innocent) at US airports.

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