Posted by Ali Albassam on February 27, 2017 in Blog
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), along with more than two dozen original cosponsors, has re-introduced his legislation to ban discriminatory profiling by all levels of law enforcement nationwide. S. 411, the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act of 2017 (ERRPA), is designed to enforce the constitutional right to equal protection of laws by ensuring policies and procedures are in place for law enforcement to promote best practices. ERRPA also closes existing loopholes in the DOJ Guidance to ensure federal, state, and local agencies responsible for the enforcement of criminal, immigration, and customs laws do not engage in profiling.
This legislation comes at a time when incidents of racial and religious profiling by law enforcement has plagued the country at the local, state and federal levels, sometimes with tragic results.
Now, it is being re-introduced to include religious profiling in the title which highlights the alarming proposals, policies, and programs that target law-abiding Arab Americans and American Muslim, including recent Executive Orders on immigration and refugee resettlement.
Profiling has acutely impacted Arab Americans and American Muslims through programs like an NYPD program which previously designated entire mosques as “terrorism enterprises” to justify the use of invasive surveillance measures.
ERRPA would effectively prevent such policies in many different ways, including but not limited to: by (1) providing enforceable declaratory or injunctive relief to prohibit racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling, (2) mandating training on profiling issues as a part of federal law enforcement training, (3) mandates the collection of data on routine or spontaneous investigatory activities, and (4) conditioning the receipt of federal law enforcement and other funds that go to state and local governments contingent on adoption of effective policies to prohibit profiling.
You may read more about the bill here.