ACLU July 8, 2010 Late last month, the ACLU filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit on behalf of 10 U.S. citizens and lawful residents who are prohibited from flying to or from the United States—or over U.S. airspace—because they are on the government’s “No Fly List.”
None of the individuals in the lawsuit, including a disabled U.S. Marine Corps veteran stranded in Egypt and a U.S. Army veteran stuck in Colombia, have been told why they are on the list or given a chance to clear their names.
Thousands of people have been added to the “No Fly List” and barred from commercial air travel without any opportunity to learn about or refute the basis for their inclusion on the list. The result is a vast and growing list of individuals who, on the basis of error or innuendo, have been deemed too dangerous to fly but who are too harmless to arrest.
“Without a reasonable way for people to challenge their inclusion on the list, there’s no way to keep innocent people off it,” said Nusrat Choudhury, a staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. “The government’s decision to prevent people from flying without giving them a chance to defend themselves has a huge impact on people’s lives including their ability to perform their jobs, see their families, and in the case of U.S. citizens, to return home to the United States from abroad.”
>> Take action! Tell Congress to rein in government travel abuses.