Denied Promotion Because of “Foreign Influence”

Federal Employee Denied Promotion Because of “Foreign Influence” UPDATES

You may recall an email sent from us late last year informing you of a new National Security case that we were working on – This case is ongoing, and staff is travelling to our Nation’s capital on July 18th to advocate for our client before a federal administrative judge.

This case involves a federal employee who was denied a security clearance due to “foreign influence” concerns. Under the guidelines established by the U. S. Department of State, many American Muslims could be classified as susceptible to “foreign influence” and, therefore, unable to hold many employment positions within the U.S. government.

State Department Policy says that an employee can be deemed susceptible to “foreign influence” if they have: Contact with a foreign family member, business or professional associate, friend, or other person who is a citizen or resident of a foreign country if that contact creates a heightened risk of foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion.

Contacts which create such a “heightened risk” are contacts in Muslim-majority countries – regardless of whether there is contact with a country listed on the U.S. State Department’s “List of State Sponsors of Terrorism.”

While CAIR-Philadelphia recognizes the need for the federal government to deny employment to persons who pose legitimate threats to national security, we are concerned that the federal government is using this legitimate goal to discriminate against law-abiding American Muslims who pose no discernible threat to national security. For this reason, we are representing our client in a hearing designed to determine whether the federal government had legitimate reasons for denying our client’s security clearance. This hearing will take place before the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals located within the U.S. Department of Defense.