Statement by Asian Law Caucus on Kenneth Wainstein’s DHS Confirmation

June 15, 2022 News

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Statement by Asian Law Caucus on Kenneth Wainstein's DHS Confirmation

SAN FRANCISCO – On June 10, the U.S. Senate confirmed Kenneth L. Wainstein as Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. As the oldest Asian civil rights organization in the country, Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus continues to have reservations about the confirmation of Mr. Wainstein at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (DHS I&A). Mr. Wainstein served as FBI General Counsel and Chief of Staff to the FBI Director during the Bush administration, and during this time, the FBI and other agencies engaged in policies that singled out members of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, South Asian, and Black communities as part of the government's post 9/11 investigations.

The Asian Law Caucus, together with key partners, expressed our concerns with Mr. Wainstein’s nomination in a letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee this past January. We also met with Mr. Wainstein to express our concerns about his previous work for the Bush Administration.

As Mr. Wainstein takes the helm at DHS I&A, the Asian Law Caucus and our partners will be watching to ensure that he and his agency makes decisions to protect, rather than harm, communities across the country.

Hammad Alam, a senior staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus who leads its National Security & Civil Rights
, said, “Every day, our team works with community members, particularly Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, South Asian, and Black community members, who have been harmed by national security policies rooted in white supremacy and racism. During the Bush administration, Mr. Wainstein helped implement numerous high-profile programs that have since been found unconstitutional, discriminatory, and deeply ineffective. His record raises many questions about his ability to lead this powerful DHS office without repeating its history of civil rights abuses. As we continue to fight for a country that lives up to our best values and ideals, we’ll be holding Mr. Wainstein and DHS accountable to the Constitution and our rights to live with safety and freedom.”