Please join Daniel W. Sutherland, Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Gale Rossides, Administrator for Business Transformation & Culture at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Jayson Ahern, Deputy Commissioner with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) this Friday, December 14th at 1:00 p.m. EST to ask any questions you may have regarding the Hajj travel period.

 

Invited Participants:

Daniel W. Sutherland, Officer

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

For Biography and Photo click below

http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/biography_0069.shtm

le Rossides, Associate Administrator for Business Transformation & Culture

Transportation Security Administration

For Biography and Photo click below

http://www.tsa.gov/who_we_are/people/bios/gale_rossides_bio.shtm

Jayson Ahern, Deputy Commissioner

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

For Biography and Photo click below

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/about/organization/deputy_commissioner_1.xml

The Hajj is a significant religious event for Muslims.  Each year, more than a million people, including thousands of Americans, make the pilgrimage to the cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.  The Hajj travel period for this year will likely commence several days before the onset of the pilgrimage and end several days after its conclusion (from approximately December 1, 2007 to January 5, 2008).

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is committed to facilitating travel that is secure, professional, and mindful of civil rights and civil liberties for all travelers.  In 2006, in the weeks prior to the Hajj, DHS issued basic guidance to security officers describing the Hajj; behaviors that may be expected from those traveling for the pilgrimage; and religious articles or items that these travelers may carry.  Specifically, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provided information on attire worn by pilgrims and the peak dates of Hajj travel, and also gave travelers guidance on placing in their checked luggage holy water over the amount permitted for hand carrying liquids. 

 Security procedures did not change during this period.  Rather, the purpose of the guidance was to help security officials perform their duties, while providing useful information to members of the traveling public.   

DHS has taken similar steps for the 2007 Hajj travel period.  In November, TSA published guidance on its website and sent instruction to its officers in the field.  Similarly, CBP will send guidance to their officers in preparation for returning travelers.

 For more information, please visit the following websites:

 http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/hajj.shtm

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1012.html

 All interested editors and reporters should send an email with proposed questions to simanco.staley@associates.dhs.gov by noon on Thursday, December 13, 2007.  Upon receipt, you will be provided with a call-in number.  Thank you in advance and we look forward to hearing from you soon.