The Department of Homeland Security has failed to release documents about grant programs for national security and the prevention of violent extremism, which have previously faced controversy for harmful and ineffective practices. After DHS failed to respond to records requests, CREW is suing for records on the Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (“CP3”), a new program introduced to prevent extremism.
Similar DHS programs have existed for years, yet were reportedly targeting specific racial and religious groups. The first of these programs, Countering Violent Extremism (“CVE”), was found to be focusing almost exclusively on American Muslims, and, in a 2017 audit, the Government Accountability Office concluded that CVE had failed to establish a cohesive strategy to reach its goals. A second iteration of this program, Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Program (“TVTP”), faced similar criticism about its discriminatory approach and lack of comprehensive strategy.
In May 2021, DHS introduced a third iteration, CP3, to combat domestic and international violent extremism. However, concerns remain that CP3 will continue to use similar discriminatory or ineffective tactics. In August, CREW requested all records and communications from January 1, 2021 to the present regarding CP3, its creation, collaborations with law enforcement agencies, and its impact on any racial or religious communities. Six months later, DHS has failed to release any of the requested records.
The requested records and communications are vital to see if DHS has followed through with their commitment to improve programs regarding violent extremism and limit discriminatory practices that unfairly target specific racial and religious groups. To be held accountable, DHS must be transparent and release these records.