AHRC hosts an open meeting with TSA & community
By Imad Hamad
The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) recently hosted a “Community Leadership” Meet, Greet & Discuss event hosting Mr. Bill Byrne, Transportation Security Agency (TSA) Deputy Federal Security Director in Michigan.
This forum was held for community leaders and other stakeholders to learn more about the TSA and its role at Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) as well as for the TSA to hear the community’s issues and concerns. The forum was held at the Islamic Center of Detroit (ICD).
This event was one of AHRC’s series of open discussions with federal agencies and other law enforcement agencies and government entities. These events are organized to provide an opportunity to advance the trust between these agencies and the communities where they work. It also helps create better understanding of the agency’s operations, procedures, practices, and regulations. This active and ongoing professional engagement enhances the partnership needed to enhance the security of our nation.
The issues brought up in the meeting included the No-Fly list, Watch Lists and the TSA screening of the AMTRAK travelers based on certain watchlists. Immigrant communities, human and civil rights organizations and communities of color have always raised concerns over racial profiling. All agreed on the importance of strict safety and security measures especially amidst the frequency of acts of hate, domestic terrorism, and mass shootings. Airports and other places of public transportation are not an exception to such danger.
“As always we appreciate the opportunity to have dialogue,” said Mr. Steve C Lorincz, Federal Director, DHS Transportation Security Administration in Michigan. “As an agency, it is imperative for us to continue these sessions and work to build trust through engagement and transparency,” continued Mr. Lorincz. “I appreciate the warm welcome that you and the group showed Mr. Byrne,” added Mr. Lorincz.
“It was an honor to be a part of such a diverse and distinguished group of community leaders. Thank you for providing an amazing platform that promotes robust and engaging dialogue on critical topics,” said aid Furquan Ahmed, Senior Vice Chancellor, Wayne County Community College District.” I look forward to the next session,” added Ahmed.
“I found it to be an impressive group of community leaders who candidly shared their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. It was important that we listen, learn, and continue to grow,” said Bill Byrne TSA Deputy Federal Security Director in Michigan.
“Along with examining potential areas of growth in regard to TSA security checkpoint protocol, I also want to acknowledge areas of improvement,” said Ms. Najat Nahshal, PhD. “As an Arab Muslim woman who wears the Hijab, I have personally been treated with much more dignity and respect than in the past,” concluded Dr Nahshal.
“AHRC commends the TSA leadership for their proactive and ongoing engagement with stakeholders in Michigan,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “We appreciate the commitment to enforcing the law while respecting the democratic values of the country,” added Hamad.
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The American Human Rights Council (AHRC) is dedicated to defending and protecting human rights as outlined in the U.S. Constitution and the United Nations 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The AHRC was formed to protect these rights and advocate for anyone whose rights are being violated or denied. To that end, the AHRC will build a tenacious, objective, and carefully guided advocacy program that will serve to defend individual human rights, whenever and wherever they are being infringed upon.