Despite controversy about previous grant programs for national security and the prevention of violent extremism, the Department of Homeland Security seems to be rebranding these programs, rather than fully reforming them. The prior iterations of these programs, Countering Violent Extremism (“CVE”) and Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Program (“TVTP”), had been under fire following a GAO report that found the program’s practices to be harmful and ineffective.
These programs appeared to be targeting specific racial and religious groups to the point that then-candidate Biden pledged during his campaign to end the programs in order to “confront discriminatory policies that single out Arab Americans and cast entire communities under suspicion.”
Now, DHS has introduced a new program known as the Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (“CP3”). To ensure DHS isn’t just putting a new spin on the old programs, CREW has submitted a request for all records and communications from January 1, 2021 to the present, relating to DHS’s program offices and CP3. Given President Biden’s campaign promise to end the problematic practices of the program, the Department should have a vested interest in restoring public trust and protecting civil liberties.
A full accounting of the policies employed by DHS in their updated program will show if their commitment to change is true. Complying with CREW’s FOIA requests would be a solid first step.