U.S. to Continue Racial, Ethnic Profiling in Border Policy


NY Times:

U.S. to Continue Racial, Ethnic Profiling in Border Policy

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will soon issue new rules curtailing the use of profiling, but federal agents will still be allowed to consider race and ethnicity when stopping people at airports, border crossings and immigration checkpoints, according to several government officials.

The new policy has been in the works for years and will replace decade-old rules that banned racial profiling for federal law enforcement, but with specific exemptions for national security and border investigations. Immigration enforcement has proved to be the most controversial aspect of the Obama administration’s revisions, and law enforcement officials succeeded in arguing that they should have more leeway in deciding whom to stop and question.

The administration is set to release the new rules in the midst of nationwide protests over recent decisions in New York and Ferguson, Mo., not to prosecute white police officers for the deaths of unarmed black men. President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. have called for calm between law enforcement and minorities.

The new rules expand the definition of racial profiling to include religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. Under the rules, law enforcement officials cannot consider any of those factors, along with race, during criminal investigations, or during routine immigration cases away from the border. Agencies whose officers make traffic stops, such as the United States Park Police, may not use them as a reason to pull someone over. The rules will apply to local police assigned to federal task forces, but not local police agencies.


The last sentence says “not local police agencies”. Somewhere else it mentions Ferguson so I am confused.


The new rules replace guidelines created by the Bush administration in 2003, which banned racial profiling for federal law enforcement, but included broad exemptions for national security and border security. The Bush rules applied only to race, but the new policy also bans profiling on the basis of religion, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identification.

But there are exceptions: for screening and inspection at the border and for transportation security, for Border Control and ICE activities at the border, and for Secret Service protective activities. But, DHS said, “This does not mean that officers and agents are free to profile. To the contrary, DHS’ existing policies make it categorically clear that profiling is prohibited, while articulating limited circumstances where it is permissible to rely in part on these characteristics, because of the unique nature of border and transportation security, as compared to traditional law enforcement.”

Read more: politico.com/story/2014/12/guidelines-racial-profiling-113386.html#ixzz3LJS9g7ti

So it is only for federal agencies; like the FBI, Boarder Patrol, TSA, Park Rangers, etc.


My mistake. I reread your first post and I see it says it is releasing the new rules in the midst of the protests over the rulings in NYC and Ferguson-not because of the rulings.

And your last post makes it clearer also. Thanks.


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