Imagine sitting by a pond enjoying your lunch when two officers ask you for your identification before taking you into custody to be handed over to government agents. This isn’t the opening scene of a science fiction movie, but the true story of Roxana Orellana Santos. She had a one year old son at the time and subsequently spent 46 days in federal custody before being released. It is time to face the truth, racial profiling continues to be a real and serious problem in the United States.
"Since there was never any suggestion of criminal activity by Ms. Orellana Santos, her questioning and detention were clearly based on one element: her ethnic appearance," said Jose Perez of Latino Justice PRLDEF to the Washington Post. "This is the essence of racial profiling."
In 2003, the Bush Administration issued guidance on the use of race in law enforcement yet profiling continued on the streets, at the border and through immigration enforcement tactics.
The Obama Administration has said they support efforts to stop racial profiling, yet they have increased immigration enforcement programs like 287(g) and "Secure Communities" that have resulted in racial profiling.
Tell the DOJ to apply the 2003 guidance on racial profiling to state and local law enforcement agencies cooperating with DHS to enforce immigration laws.
Sign the petition to ask Attorney General Holder to strengthen the 2003 guidelines on racial profiling so that it:
include profiling based on religion and national origin;
close loopholes that allow profiling at borders in the name of "national security";
ensure that the guidelines are enforceable and that law enforcement agencies are held accountable; and
apply to state or local law enforcement agencies working in cooperation with federal agencies or receiving federal money.
Join the Racial Profiling: Face the Truth campaign and sign the petition.