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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily

Bloggings On Deportation And Removal

by Matthew Kolken

AILA Report: Evidence that ICE and CBP approve of racial profiling

Last week the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) released a report entitled "Immigration Enforcement Off Target -  Minor Offenses with Major Consequences"  that examines the Secure Communities program.  The report was written by Alexsa Alonzo, Associate Director of Advocacy; Kristin Macleod-Ball, Legal Intern; Greg Chen, Director of Advocacy; and Su Kim, Advocacy Associate.  

The report reveals what I have suspected for quite some time now: racial profiling is a regular tool of local law enforcement agencies (LLEA) in the apprehension of the undocumented population, and ICE and CBP approve, if not engage in such methods.

Here is an excerpt:

Publicly, DHS has stated that racial profiling should play no role in immigration enforcement. Secretary Napolitano has referred to racial profiling as “illegal” and “repugnant to the law.” ICE’s written policy states that “[r]acial profiling is simply not something that will be tolerated.” Despite these pronouncements, ICE and CBP initiated removal proceedings in cases where there was strong evidence suggesting the presence of racial profiling by LLEAs. By pursuing these kinds of cases, ICE and CBP signal tacit approval of the discriminatory and questionable practices that brought the individuals to DHS attention. DHS must send a clear and strong signal—one that goes beyond policy pronouncements—that racial profiling and other civil rights abuses by police will not be tolerated. Towards that end, DHS must stop accepting cases referred from jurisdictions under investigation by the Department of Justice for racial profiling.  DHS must also proactively review its programs and practices to identify those that might inadvertently lead to racial profiling and put in place safeguards to protect against this potential.  

Click here to read the full report.