WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 3, 2015) — Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), and Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) applauded the passage by voice vote through the House of Representatives of an amendment to prevent the Department of Justice, the FBI and local law enforcement from using money in the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to engage in profiling based on race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender and sexual orientation.
“When law enforcement profiles a person based on skin tone or appearance, they diminish that individual’s humanity,” said Rep. Grijalva. “It sews the seeds of distrust in the victim and their community, and sends a message that those enlisted to serve and protect will, in fact, do neither. Those sentiments could not be further from the truth for countless men and women who risk their lives as first responders, which makes the need to ban profiling all the more urgent.”
“Diversity is America’s strength, but discrimination by law enforcement undermines that strength,” Rep. Ellison said. “The amendment passed by the House of Representatives today will protect Americans from racial profiling. I want to thank my colleagues in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus today for moving us closer to ending discrimination in our nation.”
“I applaud the passage of the amendment to end racial profiling. It is critical that we, as members of Congress, work to take bold, vigorous, and steadfast action by challenging any and all policies that would permit racial discrimination and profiling,” said Rep. Butterfield. “Racial profiling is having a negative impact in communities across the country and we must continue our efforts to ensure such discriminatory policies cease. Today is a step forward in our work to end profiling and policies based on race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender and sexual orientation.”
“Racial profiling has no place in our country, and as such, we should ensure that taxpayer dollars do not support law enforcement activity that uses discriminatory practices,” Rep. Sánchez said. “Latinos and minorities – like all other Americans – deserve equal justice under the law. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus joins the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus in leading this appropriations effort that is so critically important to protecting communities of color.”
“Racial profiling isn’t just a violation of our principles, it’s an ineffective practice that hurts our safety by weakening the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they protect,” Rep. Chu said. “It trains police to see people of color as threats, not individuals. The Federal Government should have no role in supporting this discrimination, and I am so pleased that our amendment was adopted today. Building on the new guidelines released by the FBI earlier this year, this amendment will take us one step closer towards a more just country for all.”