Watch the video above.
The United States for Travel Freedom, a newly created bipartisan caucus of legislators from nine states, announced its determination to fight for the rights of Americans to travel free of the invasive scanning and pat-down policies now mandated by the Transportation Security Administration.
At least a dozen USTF legislators have introduced bills in their states to halt the TSA procedures. The Texas House recently passed a bill introduced by USTF member Rep. David Simpson. The measure calls for the prosecution of any agent who unlawfully and unreasonably searches a citizen in a Texas airport.
“Our citizens are waking up to the unconstitutional policies of the TSA,” said USTF founder, Rep. Sharon Cissna of Alaska. “Our constitution guarantees us the right to travel free of unreasonable searches and seizures, yet ordinary citizens are subjected to dangerous x-ray scans that expose them to unconfirmed health risks and pat-down procedures that are so invasive they actually constitute sexual assault in many states.”
The USTF reports that momentum is building to stop TSA procedures and replace them, if necessary, with less intrusive security measures such as bomb-sniffing dogs or interview techniques similar to those used by anti-terrorist experts in Israel.
“One of my main concerns is the effect of the TSA procedures on children,” said state Sen. Val Stevens of Washington. “Parents will wisely not want their small children subjected to the scanners’ x-rays, so they opt for the pat-down. As children are touched in places they have been told to protect, they become traumatized. One six-year-old from Kentucky, subjected to a pat-down in New Orleans, started crying from humiliation. It was just heartbreaking. We should not be doing this to our kids.”
As a breast cancer survivor, Rep. Cissna has refused to travel by commercial air flights after being subjected to a humiliating and offensive pat-down when her TSA scan showed the abnormality.
“Ordinary citizens across this country have told us they are being treated like common criminals by the TSA,” said Cissna. “Many of them are cancer or other health-related survivors, whose prostheses, pacemakers or other surgically implanted devices cause them to be continually subjected to embarrassing pat-down procedures.”
Other members of the USTF include: Rep. Will Tallman of Pennsylvania, Rep. Diane Sands of Montana, Assemblywoman Alison McHose and Sen. Michael Doherty of New Jersey, Rep. Eileen Kowall of Michigan, Reps. Jenn Coffee and Jordan Ulery of New Hampshire, Reps. Chris Tuck and Max Gruenberg of Alaska, and Sen. Sam Slom of Hawaii.
Senator Sam Slom introduced SB 1150 to address the problem of the full body scanners and patdowns at airport checkpoints run by the TSA. He stated in a recent article: “In Hawaii, I introduced SB 1150 in January, 2011, “Relating to the use of Body Imaging Scanners at Airports.” The bill would make it illegal to use non-consensual full body imaging devices at Hawaii airports. There were four Democrat co-signatories. The bill was referred to three separate committees, but never given a hearing.”
Senator Slom hopes that his bill or any other similar bill introduced in the Hawaii State Legislature gets a hearing next session.
“This is not a partisan issue,” say’s Alaska’s Rep. Cissna. “We invite any state legislator – or federal for that matter – to join us in this effort. Americans deserve to travel safely, but not at the expense of their freedom and dignity. There is a way to do both, and we’re here to reclaim these rights for every citizen.
Caucus Formed to Oppose TSA Intrusions
Individual States with Airport Security Legislation
Abolish the TSA, Let the Market Protect the Passngers, Forbes, May 26, 2011