Probably the most disturbing aspect of the recent spate of state laws that seek to criminalize undocumented immigrants is the requirement that law enforcement officials check the immigration status of people whom they suspect of being undocumented. While supporters claim that there are other ways to "profile" who would likely be an undocumented immigrant, the most obvious way is by race/ethnicity.
In addition to the anti-immigrant state legislation, increased national security in the wake of 9/11 has also led to racial profiling of people of Arab and South Asian descent.
To address this issue, Senators Cardin (D-MD) and Reid (D-NV) have introduced the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA), which would "withhold federal law enforcement funding if local and state governments failed to adopt effective policies that prohibit racial profiling" and "require the Attorney General to report on ongoing discriminatory profiling practices." A companion bill was introduced by Rep.s Conyers (D-MI) and Nadler (D-NY) in the House of Representatives.
Sen. Cardin's press release on the End Racial Profiling Act
Statements from Rep.s Conyers and Nadler on ERPA.
Urge Your Senator to Support the End Racial Profiling Act
Download the legislative toolkit from Rights Working Group to help ask your Members of Congress to End Racial Profiling
For more information contact socialjustice @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Thursday, December 8, 2011.
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Three Faces of Racial Profiling: Immigrants are the Latest Victims (from the ACLU)
Arizona Immigration Law Violates Constitution, Guarantees Racial Profiling (from the Southern Poverty Law Center)
Analysis of End Racial Profiling Act from Rights Working Group (PDF, 4 pages)
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