Clear, et al., v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, No. 1:2019-cv-07079 (E.D.N.Y., filed Dec. 18, 2019)
The American Civil Liberties Union and Cuny Law School CLEAR Project filed a lawsuit against CBP in December 2019 over its Tactical Terrorism Response Teams (TTRT), which plaintiffs argue are discriminatory against individuals from the Middle East.
The complaint alleges that CBP is deploying secret teams across at least 46 airports and other U.S. ports of entry which target, detain, and interrogate innocent travelers. Frequently TTRT officers request that travelers unlock their electronic devices and subject them to search. While TTRTs operate largely in secret, CBP has publicly admitted the teams are explicitly targeting individuals who are not on any government watchlist and whom the government has never identified as posing a security risk. Former CBP Commissioner and form acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, has indicated TTRT officers may rely on their “instincts” or hunches to target travelers.
Additionally, the ACLU of Northern California has filed an administrative complaint on behalf of an individual who was detained and interrogated by a TTRT.
Public statements by CBP officials about TTRTs:
Counsel: American Civil Liberties Union
Contact: Scarlet Kim| American Civil Liberties Union Foundation | ScarletK@aclu.org