America needs immigration reform now.

Michigan United
Michigan United

Justice Derailed: Racial Profiling and Abuse by Border Patrol

Have you seen the new report just released by the New York University School of Law, the New York Civil Liberties Union and Families for Freedom?  “Justice Derailed” is pretty shocking, and adds to the mountain of evidence that shows Border Patrol is out of control.

The report released on Wednesday dramatically confirms that Border Patrol agents engaged in pervasive racial profiling during sweeps of domestic train and bus lines in upstate New York.  The majority of these sweeps occurred far away from the Canadian border, on domestic bus and rail lines that stayed entirely within the US. 

Despite the supposed purpose of protecting the Canadian border, 73% of those detained were from Latin America.  89% of those arrested by Border Patrol were reported as of “medium,” “dark” or “black” complexion.   

The experience of Professor Torres Saillant, a US citizen who teaches at Syracuse University, was typical.  He described being questioned numerous times on domestic Greyhound  buses in New York.  Professor Saillant reported that Border Patrol agents instructed him that he needed to “carry his papers,” and would single out only the Latino passengers on the bus for questioning.

Advocates have spotted these same problems, and worse, all across the country

.  It’s pretty clear that this isn’t about keeping our country safe, but is really about pumping up Border Patrol’s arrest record.

No one in America should be targeted or harassed by the government just because of the color of their skin.

 After years of public pressure, the Administration may have changed this policy, and ended sweeps along the Northern Border, just ahead of the report’s release.  If it’s confirmed that the sweeps are over, then we should congratulate the Administration on taking a step in the right direction. 

But it’s clear that Border Patrol and the Office of Field Operations need a major overhaul—whether it’s repeated sexually humiliating searches of Muslims at the border, harassment of Latinos at churches and food pantries, or pervasive racial profiling—this agency needs to respect basic human rights.

Send a message to Congress and the President today— Border Patrol is out of control, and it’s time for change.