Many people would have received a notice from SALDEF (Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund) asking to support the passing of Senate bill 1670 – End Racial Profiling Act of 2011.
SALDEF provides information about the bill and provides an easy way to contact your relevant senators to ask them to support the bill.
The bill has been introducted by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), and seeks to make racial profiling – a tactic used by law enforcement and security agencies that often affects innocent Sikhs – illegal.
According to the act:
The End Racial Profiling Act is designed to enforce the constitutional right to equal protection of the laws by eliminating racial profiling through changing the policies and procedures underlying the practice.
- First, the bill provides a prohibition on racial profiling, enforceable by declaratory or injunctive relief.
- Second, the bill mandates training on racial profiling issues as part of Federal law enforcement training, the collection of data on all routine or spontaneous investigatory activities that is to be submitted through a standardized form to the Department of Justice.
- Third, the receipt of federal law enforcement and other funds that go to state and local governments is conditioned on their adoption of effective policies that prohibit racial profiling.
- Fourth, the Justice Department is authorized to provide grants for the development and implementation of best policing practices, such as early warning systems, technology integration, and other management protocols that discourage profiling.
- Finally, the Attorney General is required to provide periodic reports to assess the nature of any ongoing discriminatory profiling practices.
Introduced by Senator Cardin, the bill is co-sponsored by several other Democratic Senators, including one John Kerry (D-MA), who last year happened to introduce the Workplace Religious Freedom Act – another bill that would have combated the discrimination that Sikhs experience.
Another co-sponsor of the End Racial Profiling Act is Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), who has supported the civil rights of American Muslims when they were receiving intense scrutiny earlier this year.