Letter of Transmittal

New York Advisory Committee to
the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Members of the Commission
Mary Frances Berry, Chairperson
Cruz Reynoso, Vice Chairperson
Jennifer C. Braceras
Christopher Edley, Jr.
Peter N. Kirsanow
Elsie M. Meeks
Abigail Thernstrom
Russell G. Redenbaugh

Les Jin, Staff Director

Shortly after the September 11 tragedies, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights urged its State Advisory Committees to monitor possible civil rights violations in their states against Muslims, Sikhs, Arabs, and South Asians. The New York Advisory Committee submits this report, Civil Rights Implications of Post-September 11 Law Enforcement Practices in New York, as part of its responsibility to advise the Commission on civil rights issues within the state. The report was adopted by the Advisory Committee by a 14 to 0 vote, with three members abstaining.

In December 2002, the Committee identified as its most pressing concern the question of whether civil rights were being violated in New York by federal and local security measures implemented after the terrorist attacks. The Committee decided to hold a community forum in New York City on May 21, 2003. Presentations were made to the Committee from 18 persons in three panels, which explored such issues as racial profiling by law enforcement, special federal registration requirements for foreign nationals from predominantly Islamic countries, and the civil rights implications of expanded government powers under the USA Patriot Act.

This report summarizes the panelistsí statements and expresses concerns and observations based on the information received. The Advisory Committee trusts the Commission and the public will find the material in this report informative.

Sincerely,

Michael Hanley, Chairperson
New York Advisory Committee