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National Security & Civil Rights

Team

Deborah Choi

Deborah Choi

Equal Justice Works Fellow, National Security & Civil Rights

Deborah Choi

Equal Justice Works Fellow, National Security & Civil Rights

Deborah (she/her) is the Equal Justice Works Fellow with the National Security and Civil Rights program. Her work aims to disrupt the exclusion of AMEMSA communities and communities of color from American citizenship by challenging denaturalization and related immigration practices. Her work focuses on the intersection of immigration and “national security” and includes representation of clients in CARRP cases and cases involving passport revocation or delay.

She received her J.D from University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and B.A. from University of California, Berkeley.

Hammad Alam

Hammad Alam

Staff Attorney & Program Manager, National Security & Civil Rights

Hammad Alam

Staff Attorney & Program Manager, National Security & Civil Rights

Hammad Alam is a Staff Attorney and Program Manager in the National Security and Civil Rights program at Asian Law Caucus. Hammad’s work focuses on, among other things, the federal Countering Violent Extremism program and state of California’s directly linked Preventing Violent Extremism and other similar surveillance and criminalization programs targeting Muslim and other immigrant and communities of color.

Hammad has helped lead coalitions against both of these programs, helping devise strategy engaging policy advocacy, community organizing, and the law to place pressure on government actors to defund and dismantle these harmful programs. Most recently, as part of the NoPVEinCA Coalition, Hammad led a statewide campaign to defund PVE in California, successfully blocking the harmful program from receiving state funding to staff and operate it.

In addition to anti-surveillance and anti-policing work, Hammad also drives NSCR’s work against the Muslim Ban, through both litigation and ALC’s participation as a core member of the No Muslim Ban Ever campaign. Hammad comes to ALC with prior federal litigation experience and served as a law clerk in the Eastern District of California. He is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law and holds a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School.

Sanjana Potnis

Sanjana Potnis

Community Advocate, National Security & Civil Rights

Sanjana Potnis

Community Advocate, National Security & Civil Rights

Sanjana is a Community Advocate in the National Security and Civil Rights program at Asian Law Caucus. Prior to ALC, Sanjana worked as a community organizer in the Seattle area with college students, immigrant rights and racial justice organizations, and community members focusing on anti-imperialist, surveillance, and racial justice work through community teach-ins, coalition building, and advocacy.

Sanjana graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle, with a B.A in International Studies and Law, Societies, & Justice with a specialization in South Asia. As an undergraduate, she took an interest in studying criminal justice, researching post-colonial legal systems, migration patterns, and the politics of spiritual-artistic traditions in South Asia. In her free time she enjoys writing, photography, practicing Hindustani classical music, and reading film reviews on Letterboxd.

Our Focus

We strive to undo hate and violence against those impacted by unjust national security policies and build a more just and inclusive country where everyone can live safely and with dignity. After 9/11, U.S. politicians and agencies exploited public fears and created profiling, surveillance, and discriminatory immigration policies that targeted Muslims and people believed to be Muslim. Our communities continue to be affected by these programs, which criminalize people without any evidence of wrongdoing. With civil rights partners across the country, we stand up for communities’ constitutional freedoms and liberties, particularly Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) and immigrant communities who have been harmed by local, state, and federal national security policies rooted in white supremacy and racism.

  • As a core member of the No Muslim Ban Ever coalition, we’re mobilizing to pass the NO BAN Act and prevent any future president from barring immigrants and refugees based on their religion or national origin.
  • In California, we’re disentangling local law enforcement from the FBI’s surveillance programs and working to defund the state’s own programs including the Joint Terrorism Task Force that wrongly stereotype Muslim, Black, and other communities as inherently suspicious.
  • At mosques across the Bay Area, we’re helping thousands of community members learn and defend their civil rights on free speech, immigration, travel, privacy, and safety—and providing free legal services to help families reunite, immigrate, and find refuge in the U.S.
A man and a woman stand in an airport. They are both emotional and looking down

Get Help

If you are concerned about surveillance programs that may be harming your community and looking for more information on your rights, we’re here to help. Get help now.

Our Work

News

Families, Civil Rights Organizations Celebrate Court Decision that U.S. Government Must Redress Muslim Ban Harms

Federal court in San Francisco rules Biden administration must undo the harms of the Muslim & African Bans and proactively reconsider denied visa applicants.

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News

Asian American Civil Rights Orgs Continue to Strongly Condemn Discriminatory Legislative Language

Groups continue to call on Congress to reject any legislative language that expands federal policies targeting communities on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious background.

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Perspective

Kerry v. Din: Striving for A Country That Lives Up To Our Values

Fauzia Din put a national spotlight on federal policies and programs enacted after 9/11 that deny Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim communities the freedoms and rights enshrined in our Constitution.

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