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MLive: Trio of U.S. Reps seek clarification on due process for No-Fly List

MLive

Washington, DC, September 29, 2016 | Logan T. Hansen

Three U.S. House of Representatives members, including Michigan's Debbie Dingell, served as the proponents of a letter sent to Homeland Security urging enhanced due process protections for the No-Fly List.

Dingell (D-Dearborn) was joined by Reps. Zoe Lofgren, of California's 19th congressional district, and Ted Poe, of Texas' 2nd congressional district, in seeking clarification from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jen Johnson on the recently-revised Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP).

The congressional trifecta is interested in seeing redress procedures further reviewed and revised to protect due process rights for individuals.

This letter comes on the heels of revisions made to TRIP in 2015 after courts ruled that the previously implemented procedures violated the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.

With the goal of ensuring that watch lists are accurate and that people wrongly listed have a meaningful process to challenge their status, the letter presents Johnson with a list of questions regarding the effectiveness of TRIP under the newly revised procedure.

"We understand that DHS is faced with the difficult task of balancing the rights of those who wish to travel with the safety of travelers," the letter states. "At the same time, the liberty interests of United States citizens and permanent residents on the No Fly List must also be protected."

As matters currently stand, removing oneself from a government watch list is, for many individuals, a lengthy process. In some cases, individuals are not allowed access to all government-collected information because of security classifications.

In addition to Dingell, Lofgren and Poe's signatures, the letter is signed by a host of other representatives, including Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield).

One primary concern the authors spoke about was the all-too-familiar story of the individual wrongly listed on the No-Fly List or the individual mistaken for another person.

Earlier this year, 18 individuals, including a 4-year-old child, filed a pair of lawsuits against the Terrorist Screening Center, claiming they'd been inexplicably added to terrorist watch lists.

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