This is my letter to Rep. Barbara Lee regarding the No Fly List:
Dear Representative Lee,
I am writing because I believe the No Fly List is unconstitutional and should be eliminated. It deprives people of the right to move freely within the country without due process.
I have recently seen some Democrats, such as Bernie Sanders, arguing that some gun control legislation should be based on this list. While I would strongly back increased gun control, I think this is the wrong way to go about it. The No Fly List is secret and is not often subject to judicial review. The list itself is islamophobic. Indeed, the vast majority of shootings happen at the hands of angry, white, Christian men who are unlikely to ever appear on the No Fly List.
However, even if the No Fly List were not racist, and the ‘right’ people were put on it- in terms of people likely to engage in unlawful use of firearms- it would still deprive Americans of due process and, as such, my opposition is not solely because it is ineffective. I hope you are able to pass gun control laws that apply across the population and which do not rely on secret lists or skirt appropriate judicial oversight.
I have very high regard for your work as a representative for my district and very much appreciate all that you do. Thank you very much for your service and good luck in your bid to become vice chair.
There is a staggering amount of racism being openly stated in the US. It’s vital that racist institutions be dismantled, rather than expanded. Recently, Donald Trump suggested that Muslims be barred from entering (or re-entering) the US. While this is obviously illegal and wrong, this exact scenario is already in place for many Muslims, based on secret criteria, in decisions made in secret panels. The No Fly List has stranded American citizens overseas, effectively preventing them from returning to their homes. President Trump could just expand this already unconstitutional program, which already lacks judicial oversight.
It is vital that Democrats prepare for the possibility of Trump being elected by removing tools that he could exploit to ignore the constitution and human rights. The rule of law must be restored as soon as possible to the Executive branch, secrecy must be stripped away and the executive must openly and visibly respect human rights and due process. While this is obviously the right thing to do no matter who is in office, handing a shadow government over to Trump would be a nightmare.