MPAC Calls on Attorney General to Strengthen DOJ Racial Profiling Policies

May 30, 2012

MPAC joined more than 200 community, human rights and civil liberties organizations to call on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review and update its June 2003 “Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies,” which is intended to prevent racial profiling by U.S. government law enforcement. MPAC and other civil rights organizations view these guidelines as unconstitutional and dehumanizing, thus leading to a counter-productive effort that alienates communities. Profiling communities based on national origin and religion also poses a serious threat to due process.

The groups also have called upon Attorney General Eric Holder to reform the Guidance by:

  • explicitly prohibiting profiling based on national origin or religion
  • closing the loopholes for border and national security
  • applying the Guidance to state and local law enforcement agencies that receive federal funding or that work with federal agencies
  • covering surveillance activities
  • making the Guidance enforceable within its terms.

However, Holder has refused to meet with advocacy groups to discuss this issue.

A few weeks ago, more than 65 members of Congress, led by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), wrote a letter to DOJ urging Holder to take action to reform the Guidance.

Incidents of state and local law enforcement agencies engaging in racial profiling have significantly increased during the past year and a half. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to monitor its surveillance on states and counties, despite the fact that the program has been found to target Latinos.

In the past two years, we have witnessed a significant increase in the number of laws that codify racial profiling in the name of immigration enforcement. There is also considerable evidence of the FBI targeting various communities for surveillance, such as Muslim and Latin American communities. These facts clearly show that federal action is needed to help protect all communities from being unfairly targeted. MPAC looks forward to working with other organizations and federal law enforcement agencies to reform the Guidance.  



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