Racial profiling? No, not in our country!

Yes, since racial profiling is no big deal and can be forgiven over a six pack, lets look at it from another angle shall we. Ok, lets say you have had a series of parking tickets and you’ve yet paid them. Hardly a criminal act, but instead a civil issue, right? How would you like it if being in that position, you’re awakened to the police in your home at 4am ready to take you to jail?

Oh yeah, I forgot to add that they got into your home without an arrest warrant or a phone call from your neighbor as in the case of Skip Gates. Yeah, kicking in your door, arresting you and searching your home without a warrant; I hope you know that isn’t quite the way things are supposed to be done in this country.

But seriously, can you imagine what would happen if this only happened to White people? Fortunately for them this only happens to people of color. Or more specifically: to the people who are brown in color and love tacos.

A recent investigative study by researchers at Cardozo Law School found:

• Despite the purported focus of ICE home raid operations, the report concludes that the large majority (approximately two-thirds) of people arrested during home raids are not dangerous targets but rather are mere civil immigration violators who are in the wrong place at the wrong time — people who have, for example, overstayed their visas.

• While ICE has publicly and repeatedly admitted that it does not obtain judicial warrants for its home raid operations, the report finds a pattern of ICE agents physically pushing and breaking their way into private homes in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

• Once inside, the study finds a pattern of ICE agents abandoning their purported focus on high priority targets and instead illegally seizing residents without legal authority – in an apparent effort to meet inflated arrest expectations.

• Finally, the data reveals that Latino residents are disproportionately likely to be arrested without any articulated basis during ICE home raid operations. Indeed, approximately 90% of the collateral arrest records reviewed, where ICE officers did not note any basis for seizing and questioning the individual, were of Latino men and women – though Latinos represented only 66% of target arrests. [Click to read the entire report]Uh huh, then given these findings: why is it Barack Obama on July 10th made a move to expand on a measure which gives local police in certain jurisdictions the power to cooperate and assist the Feds in rounding up undocumented immigrants? If you don’t believe me, you should: click here to read. Now mind you, this was a Draconian style witch hunt practice signed into law back in 1996. But, can anyone tell me why Barack Obama has moved to expand it’s practice when clearly there have been violations in doing so?

(Well RiPPa, those people are in the country illegally and they need to be rounded up by all means necessary!)

Yes, you’re right that they’re here illegally; yes, and they should all be rounded up and sent to Guantanamo Bay to be water-boarded. Yes you may feel that way but listen, there is this document on this old piece of paper called The Constitution… yeah, law enforcement officials must adhere to it. Yes, and from the looks of it, they sure haven’t been following the letter of the law too well.

(Well that really sucks then RiPPa, and it needs to be changed.)

Sure it needs to be changed; especially if you like police officers having the power to walk into your home and drag you to jail if they feel like it – you know, kinda like what Sgt. Jim Cowley did in Cambridge? I mean you probably don’t look like you hopped over a fence two days ago into Texas or California from Mexico, but if we’re all afforded equal protection under the law why don’t we just throw out the 4th and 5th amendment. How about that? Sounds good doesn’t it?

What gets me is that supposedly the Obama administration has suggested a different direction on immigration enforcement pending comprehensive reform. But somehow, I’m a little wary of this type of reform especially since arrests have drastically increased. Sure there’s going to be an increase when law enforcement is able to enter a home without lawful consent:

When monthly 2009 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was up (32.1 percent). Prosecutions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are up 122.5 percent from levels reported in 2004. [Click to read the entire report]Hmm, looks like they’re doing all they can to fill those new super-max prisons. Look, unfortunately the problem of racial profiling in this country is perceived to be exclusive to African Americans. Yes, people raised hell and were of the opinion that the Gates’ arrest was another in a long line of this practice.

Well, the truth is, it wasn’t; the police were called to his home on a possible breaking and entering. No, they did not drive by and happen to see a Black man attempting to kick his own door in.

But now that all of this is behind us and the president has encouraged us to have a conversation on this issue. Am I wrong for highlighting what I see as Government sanctioned racial profiling? I mean if I am, maybe someone needs to have Obama give me a call and preach to me about personal responsibility. After all, I too am an immigrant who like everyone else has helped to build this country, no?