Racial profiling continues to be a prevalent and egregious form of discrimination in the United States. This unjustifiable practice remains a stain on American democracy and an affront to the promise of racial equality. Since September 11, 2001, new forms of racial profiling have affected a growing number of people of color in the U.S., including members of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities. The Obama administration has inherited a shameful legacy of racial profiling codified in official FBI guidelines and a notorious registration program that treats Arabs and Muslims as suspects and denies them the presumption of innocence and equal protection under the law.
Equally troubling has been the federal government’s encouragement of unprecedented raids of immigrant (particularly Latino) communities and workplaces by local law enforcement in cooperation with federal agencies. These policies have unjustly expanded the purview of and undermined basic trust in local law enforcement, alienated immigrant communities, and created an atmosphere of fear anti-immigrant rhetoric has led to a dramatic increase in hate crimes against and racial profiling of Latinos.
These policies and practices have wrought destruction on individuals, families and communities, tearing them apart through unjust detentions, deportations, raids and more.
The ACLU’s work on racial profiling encompasses major initiatives in public education and advocacy, including lobbying for passage of data collection and anti-profiling legislation, and litigation on behalf of individuals who have been victims of the practice by airlines, police and government agencies.