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Sikh Coalition Revised Sikh Air Traveler's Guide (Please Read)


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Read Our Revised Sikh Air Traveler's Guide
The Sikh Coalition Alert January 13, 2011

Press release by personal email.

Coalition Issues Revised Sikh Air Traveler's Guide for 2011; Secures Congressional Support for Civil Rights at Airports

January 13, 2011 (Washington, DC) - The Sikh Coalition has revised its guidance for Sikh travelers at American airports. The revised guidance reflects the reality that Sikhs should now always expect to be secondarily screened at American airports.

Click here to read our revised guidance:" Airport Screening ""Procedures as Applied to Sikh Travelers and Your Rights as a Sikh Air Traveler" [ http://www.sikhcoalition.org/documents/KYR-SikhTravelerBillofRights.pdf ]

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 [ http://www.tsa.gov/approach/tech/ait/how_it_works.shtm ] 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.

The changes to our guidance have been prompted by feedback from the Sikh community and multiple meetings with officials at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Sikh Coalition rejects the TSA's policy as unfair and unsafe, and is working with key lawmakers to change it. Even still, in the meantime, we believe that Sikh travelers should at least know what to expect at American airports.

*Members of Congress Advocate for Sikhs*

As the Sikh Coalition continues to push for better treatment of Sikhs at American airports, members of the United States Congress have also expressed support for the Sikh community. On January 7, 2011, Rep. Judy Chu (CA) issued a strong letter of inquiry [ https://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1607/images/TSABriefingRequest.pdf ] 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.

The Sikh Coalition thanks its colleagues at UNITED SIKHS for their advocacy with the office of Rep. Chu.

*Next Steps*

The Sikh Coalition relies heavily on Sikh community members to provide reports about airport screening experiences. These reports help us make the case that TSA policy discriminates against Sikhs. Please continue to report your screening experiences to us [ https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J9LKGRZ ]. In the meantime, we will continue to work with Congressional offices on efforts to create a more safe and sensible airport screening policy in the United States.

* Donation Now! [ https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=2563 ]
* Visit our website. [ http://sikhcoalition.org ]
* Connect with on Facebook [ http://facebook.com/thesikhcoalition ]
* Watch our videos [ http://www.youtube.com/user/SikhCoalition ]