Take action to support the End Racial Profiling Act
Since 9/11, the rights of South Asians have been violated by profiling. Profiling is a law enforcement tactic where individuals are treated as suspects based on characteristics unrelated to criminal conduct - such as race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, and perceived immigration status. Some examples of profiling affecting South Asians? Additional security screening of Sikh and Muslim travelers at airports because their turbans or hijabs. Intrusive questioning about religious and political beliefs and searches of laptops and cell phones by immigration authorities upon return from trips to South Asia. Surveillance and mapping of Muslim communities by the FBI and NYPD with no factual basis. State and local law enforcement carrying out immigration laws where police pull over individuals because they look "foreign."
Not only is it wrong, profiling is ineffective. It diverts limited law enforcement resources away from focusing on individualized suspicious behavior by relying on race- or religion-based profiles. It diminshes trust between law enforcement and affected communities making individuals hesitant to reach out to police in times of need. It also violates the fundamental civil rights of communities by treating them differently than other Americans.
Recognizing the injustices caused by profiling that have long affected the African American and Latino communities and, more recently, the Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities, Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland and Congressman John Conyers of Michigan have introduced the End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 (S. 1670; H.R. 3618). This legislation will do the following:
- Prohibit profiling based on race, religion, national origin, and ethnicity by federal, state, and local law enforcement (including in transportation and surveillance contexts)
- Establish requirements for law enforcement to collect data, provide anti-profiling trainings, an develop a complaint mechanism for affected individuals
- Allow the Department of Justice to withhold grants to entities that fail to comply with the law and provide funding to these seeking to eliminate the practice
- Allow affected individuals to seek redress by being able to file a lawsuit
Send a message to your Senators urging them to co-sponsor this historic piece of legislation or thanking them if they have already expressed support.
For more information on profiling affecting the South Asian community, click here.
Note: Please be sure to personalize the message that you send as it will be more effective. Let them know why supporting anti-profiling policies is important to you! Start by scrolling down and entering your ZIP code below.