In my White Paper, I would like to analyze racial profiling and the legality that comes with it. Racial profiling is a form of discrimination by which law enforcement uses a person’s race or ethnicity as the primary reason to suspect that the individual has broken the law. Racial profiling has become a practice that violates the fundamental principles of our constitution. It targets individuals who already seen to be minorities, and uses law enforcement to target them and bring them under investigation. This practice disproportionately alienates individuals in our society and has created a fear in a system of law enforcement that would suspect communities to automatically have violated the law.
Since September 11, 2001, racial programming has been an issue for many Muslim-Americans who have been placed under intense scrutiny since the attacks. Stereotypes like “Driving While Black” also immerge from examples of racial profiling, and the same can be said for many other minority groups. This White Paper however would evaluate the profiling targeted on illegal immigrants in the United States. According to the New York Times, the federal government under the Obama administration has been increasing the number of raids performed in the US. These raids specifically target Latinos, usually migrant workers, and have led to the controversial enforcement of measures seen as distinct racial profiling. These laws added new state requirements, crimes and penalties related to enforcement of immigration laws and were to become effective on July 29, 2010. The National Conference of State Legislatures explain the bill:
“Before the laws could go into effect, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit asking for an injunction against these laws arguing that they are unconstitutional. On July 28, Judge Bolton granted the request for injunction in part and enjoined those provisions related to state law officers determining immigration status during any lawful stop; the requirement to carry alien registration documents; the prohibition on applying for work if unauthorized; and permission for warrantless arrests if there is probable cause the offense would make the person is removable from the United States.”
Arizona business leaders and many community groups nationwide have made an effort to encourage a more tolerant climate for immigrants. Various boycotts of Arizona tourism, hotels, and businesses have been initiated and have cost the state upwards of $141 million. Whether or not the climate in Arizona is becoming more progressive, the passage of SB 1070 contained a chilling anti-immigrant subtext, and has had larger ramifications for the rest of the country.
This White Paper would be important to shed light on the alienated immigrant communities, and explore the created atmosphere of fear anti-immigrant rhetoric that has led to a dramatic increase in hate crimes against and racial profiling of Latinos. This unjustifiable practice remains a stain on American democracy and an insult to the promise of racial equality.