Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) announced Wednesday the creation of a Detroit-based U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) community relations position that will be dedicated to building trust and working with Michigan’s Arab and Muslim American communities, as well as other impacted communities.
“Following the meeting I convened earlier this month between community leaders and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, I’m pleased to announce that the Department has notified me that U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be establishing a new position to serve as a community relations liaison between the agency and Michigan’s Arab and Muslim American communities,” Peters said.
“Community leaders have long raised serious concerns about experiences with the travel screening process, and this new role will be a vital link between these communities and CBP officials to help address these concerns and other important civil rights issues,” he continued. “This is a key step to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security and its component agencies are effectively serving all of our communities. As Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I will continue working with Secretary Mayorkas and CBP to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security is able to facilitate secure and efficient trade and travel into the United States while protecting our borders and respecting Americans’ civil rights and liberties.”
Earlier this month, Peters hosted DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas in Metro Detroit to meet with leaders from Michigan’s Arab and Muslim American communities to discuss civil rights issues, including the challenges often confronted by members of these communities when going through security screening while traveling.
On Wednesday, Peters joined CBP Deputy Commissioner Troy Miller and Dearborn, Mich., Mayor Abdullah Hammoud for a virtual meeting, which included a discussion of the new position, which will be charged with serving as the key liaison between Michigan’s Arab and Muslim American communities and CBP leadership in Michigan and Washington, D.C., to help address these and other community concerns.