Thursday, April 16, 2009

Not news to us

An article on racial profiling of Latinos appeared in the April 15 online edition of the New York Times:

Many police officers in New Jersey are misusing a 2007 directive by the state’s attorney general by questioning the immigration status of Latino drivers, passengers, pedestrians and even crime victims, reporting them to federal immigration authorities and jailing some for days without criminal charges, according to a Seton Hall Law School study.

“The data suggests a disturbing trend towards racial profiling by the New Jersey police,” said Bassina Farbenblum, a lawyer with the law school’s Center for Social Justice, which gathered details of 68 cases over the past nine months in which people were questioned about their immigration status for no apparent reason, or after minor infractions, like rolling through a stop sign. None involved drunken driving or the use of false documents.

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