The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Racial Profiling

"Racial profiling" refers to law enforcement strategies and practices that single out individuals as objects of suspicion solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion. Under such practices, minorities are disproportionately targeted as criminal suspects, skewing at the outset the racial composition of the population ultimately charged, convicted and incarcerated.

Civil and Human Rights Groups React to Reports of Updated Profiling Guidance

April 15, 2014 - Posted by Patrick McNeil

When George W. Bush said in a presidential debate in 2000 that “we ought to do everything we can to end racial profiling,” the civil and human rights community hoped that his encouraging statement would lead to federal policy. However, his administration’s profiling guidance, released in 2003 and still to date unreformed, was inadequate 11 years ago and is even less sufficient in 2014 as it continues to affect millions of Americans from a range of racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.


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Monitor Weekly: The Latest in Civil and Human Rights

May 5, 2012 - Posted by Ron Bigler

  • Concerns about Higher GED Costs. As Education Week reported on Thursday, The Leadership Conference will be meeting with a senior executive of the GED Testing Service to allay concerns that plans to redesign the exam will make it cost prohibitive for lower-income people.

  • New App to Fight Racial Profiling at Airports. At a press event held this week at The Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., the Sikh Coalition launched a new iPhone and Android application called FlyRights that makes it easier for travelers to submit complaints about airport security directly to the Transportation Security Administration.

  • Women, African Americans Hit Hardest by Public-Sector Layoffs. A new briefing paper by the Economic Policy Institute finds that Women and African Americans comprised about 70 percent and 20 percent respectively of the 765,000 jobs lost in state and local government between 2007 and 2011.

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Monitor Weekly - The Latest in Civil and Human Rights

April 28, 2012 - Posted by Ron Bigler

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Members of Congress, Law Enforcement Officials, and Advocates Call for an End to Racial Profiling

April 20, 2012 - Posted by Sandy Thomas

The negative effects of racial profiling and the need to pass the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) of 2011 were the focus of a Senate subcommittee hearing held on April 17 as part of the National End Racial Profiling Advocacy Week.


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Advocates Urge Congress to Address Racial Profiling

November 10, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Racial profiling is an unjust, ineffective practice that threatens civil liberties and harms targeted communities and society as a whole, criminal justice advocates recently told members of Congress at a hearing focused on the need to pass legislation aimed at eliminating its use by law enforcement agencies.


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Senate Introduces Legislation to Ban Racial Profiling

October 7, 2011 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

Yesterday, the Senate introduced a bill that would ban the use of racial profiling by law enforcement.


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Legislators and Civil Rights Groups Call on Congress to End Racial Profiling

September 16, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

At a press conference this week designed to push Congress and the Obama administration to pass the End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 (ERPA), the Rights Working Group released a new report advocating not only for the prohibition of racial profiling but for greater oversight of law enforcement with regard to civil rights protections.


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Report: Local Immigration Enforcement Creates Environment for Racial Profiling

February 4, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Controversial federal statute 287(g), an immigration policy that allows the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) to delegate local authorities to enforce federal immigration laws, is doing more to harm than to help communities, according to a new report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).


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New 'Face the Truth' Campaign Aims to Eliminate Racial and Religious Profiling

September 30, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

The Rights Working Group recently launched a campaign, "Face the Truth," to eliminate racial and religious profiling. 

Profiling is the exclusive reliance on racial, religious, or ethnic characteristics to determine the likelihood that a person committed an act or crime. While profiling is most associated with African Americans, profiling targets people of many races, religions, and ethnicities, such as Arab and Muslim Americans following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Latinos in immigration enforcement, and the Asian Americans following World War II

The "Face the Truth" campaign's goals include: urging the Department of Justice to revise guidelines regarding profiling loopholes in national security and enforcement, ending immigration enforcement programs that often profile based on race, and pushing Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA).  ERPA would prohibit all law enforcement agencies from racial profiling, require agencies to collect data on the number of stops, searches, and arrests by race and gender, and allow victims of racial profiling to sue local, state or federal authorities.  Congress is expected to introduce ERPA later this session. 

The campaign will also emphasize the ineffective and illegal nature of profiling, promote communication amongst targeted communities to better fight profiling, and building stronger relationships between law enforcement and their communities.

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