ACLU weighs in, hat tip to Hot Air
“It certainly immunizes anybody who says, ‘I don’t want someone who looks Arab on my plane,’” said Caroline Frederickson, director of the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union. “It goes really, really far in legitimizing racial profiling.”
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the group has concerns with language encouraging citizens to target people who are Muslim or are perceived to be Muslim. But the group does not have a problem with the provision’s language that says it only affects those acting in “good faith,” he added.
The provision stems from a lawsuit lodged by several Muslim men who were removed from an airplane last year because a passenger complained about suspicious activity.
“Taking aim at one pending case is treacherous, since such measures can widely undermine or even eliminate the legal rights of ordinary Americans in ways that aren’t always easy to predict,” said the Leahy aide.
For their part, supporters have pointed to the foiled attack at Fort Dix, N.J., earlier this year, in which a citizen reported suspicious activity that eventually led to the arrests of suspected terrorists.