AHRC Hosts “Meet, Greet & Open Conversation” with CBP: 

By AmericaAmerican Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA)

The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) recently hosted a community “Meet, Greet & Open Conversation” with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection-CBP. The event was held at the Islamic Center of Detroit (ICD).

More than 60 diverse group of invited guests attended and engaged with the CBP leadership of Detroit. In attendance was Mr. Nawar Shora, the newly appointed Senior Community Relations Manager, with the office of Intergovernmental Public Liaison, Office of the Commissioner of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The discussion began with CBP preview of the agency’s work and functions at all port of entries. The conversation was candid, professional, constructive, and informative to all. Both the CBP and the community leaders heard each other’s perspective on several issues of common interests as well as issues of ongoing concern to the communities at large, especially the Arab and Muslim American communities. Issues brought up during the meeting included Watch Lists, No-Fly Lists, secondary inspections, seizures of money, and searches and seizures of phones, computers, and other electronic devices.

The participants stressed on the importance of the ongoing cultural awareness and sensitivity training to all CBP team members. Such training and engagement advance the level of understanding between CBP and the diverse communities. CBP was welcoming and receptive to hearing of suggestions that may help advance its operations. Participants stressed that no one is seeking any special treatment, however, all agreed that everyone deserves the fair treatment that citizenship entitles them regardless of background.

In addition, participants urged both the CBP & the TSA to enhance the DHS Redress mechanism as many see it as ineffective. Both sides agreed to continue the active and constructive engagement serving the common interests. Also, both agencies called upon qualified candidates to apply for jobs. All stressed on the importance of diversity and inclusion.

AHRC commends CBP for its active engagement with various community groups across the State of Michigan. The “Meet, Greet & Open Conversation” is a series of AHRC ongoing efforts to building bridges of understanding and trust among people and government agencies.

“Our commitment to building strong relationships within our communities have always been and remains top priority for CBP,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Detroit Director of Field Operations, Christopher Perry, “We remain committed to listening to our communities’ concerns and providing transparency where we can so that our stakeholders have a greater understanding of the important mission our personnel are entrusted to carry out each day.”

“We value dialogue because it is the way to build bridges of understanding and trust,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “These meetings are vital to all the stakeholders,’ added Hamad.