Ben Cardin - Senator for Maryland

CARDIN TESTIFIES ON THE NEED TO END RACIAL PROFILING IN AMERICA

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Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights today calling for an end to the use of racial profiling by law enforcement in America. He discussed the need to pass his legislation, S. 1670, the End Racial Profiling Act:

“Racial profiling is un-American. It is against our values, it wastes valuable resources, and it should have no place in modern law enforcement. It’s time that we move forward in guaranteeing to every American in this country equal justice under the law," Senator Cardin testified. “The vast majority of our law enforcement officials who put their lives on the line every day handle their jobs with professionalism, diligence, and fidelity to the rule of law. However, Congress and the Justice Department can and should still take steps to prohibit racial profiling and finally root out its use.

“African Americans continue to face racial profiling on the streets and sidewalks of American cities. Since 9-11, Arab-Americans, American Muslims, and South-Asian Americans have faced national origin and religious profiling. And a recent spate of federal, state, and local measures has subjected Hispanic Americans to an increase in racial profiling under the guise of combating illegal immigration,” said Senator Durbin, who chaired today’s hearing. “Racial profiling undermines the rule of law and strikes at the core of our nation’s commitment to equal protection for all.”

Introduced in October 2011, 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.  Senator Cardin is proud to lead the current fight for passage of this legislation, that is cosponsored by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL, who chaired today’s hearing, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John Kerry (D-MA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Carl Levin (D-MI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Mark Udall (D-CO), and Chris Coons (D-DE). 

“I believe all Americans are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect,” Senator Mikulski said. “We need to make sure that our citizens are protected from discriminatory acts. Racial profiling has no place in law enforcement and cannot be accepted in our communities. I am proud to stand up with my colleagues to support the End Racial Profiling Act and end this repugnant practice.”

Following the hearing, Senator Cardin kicked off a press conference with leaders of the Rights Working Group, NAACP and ACLU to further discuss the need to end the practice of racial profiling by law enforcement. They were joined by victims of racial profiling who shared their personal stories.  Baltimore’s Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant, a leading youth activist and advisor to the Trayvon Martin family, echoed the call to end racial profiling by law enforcement in America:

“This piece of legislation being offered by my senator, Senator Cardin, is the last missing piece for the civil rights bill from 1965 that says there ought to be equality regardless of one’s gender or one’s race. Racial profiling is in fact an extension of racism in America that has been unaddressed and this brings closure to the divide in this county,” Rev. Dr. Bryant during the press conference.

"Racial profiling is bad policy, but given the state of our budgets, it also diverts scarce resources from real law enforcement, Senator Cardin added.

S. 1670, the End Racial Profiling Act, has the support of key civil rights groups from across the country, including:

National Organizations

A. Philip Randolph Institute

African American Ministers in Action

American Civil Liberties Union

American Humanist Association

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

American Probation and Parole Association

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Asian American Justice Center

Asian Law Caucus

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance

Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Blacks in Law Enforcement in America

Break the Cycle

Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law

Campaign for Community Change

Campaign for Youth Justice

Center for National Security Studies

Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Council on Illicit Drugs of the National Association for Public Health Policy

Disciples Justice Action Network

Drug Policy Alliance

Equal Justice Society

Fair Immigration Reform Movement

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Human Rights Watch

Indo-American Center

Institute Justice Team, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Japanese American Citizens League

Jewish Labor Committee

Jewish Reconstructionist Federation

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

League of United Latin American Citizens

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Muslim Advocates

Muslim Legal Fund of America

Muslim Public Affairs Council

NAACP

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc.

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery

National Alliance of Faith and Justice

National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

National Association of Social Workers

National Black Justice Coalition

National Black Law Students Association

National Black Police Association

National Congress of American Indians

National Council of La Raza

National Education Association

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

National Korean American Service and Education Consortium

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

National Lawyers Guild Drug Policy Committee

National Legal Aid and Defender Association

National Organization of Black Women in Law Enforcement

National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault

National Urban League Policy Institute

NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby

9to5, National Association of Working Women

North American South Asian Bar Association

Open Society Policy Center

Organization of Chinese Americans

Pax Christi USA: National Catholic Peace Movement

Prison Policy Initiative

Rights Working Group

Sentencing Project

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Sikh Coalition

SOJOURNERS

South Asian Americans Leading Together

South Asian Network

South Asian Resource Action Center

StoptheDrugWar.org

The Real Cost of Prisons Project

Treatment Communities of America

U.S. Human Rights Network

Union for Reform Judaism

United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

UNITED SIKHS

Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

State and Local Organizations

A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing) (California)

Adhikaar (New York)

Advocare, Inc. (Ohio)

Arab American Action Network (Illinois)

Arab-American Family Support Center (New York)

CASA de Maryland (Maryland)

Casa Esperanza (New Jersey)

CAUSA - Oregon's Immigrant Rights Organization (Oregon)

Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions (New York)

Counselors Helping (South) Asians/Indians, Inc. (Maryland)

Desis Rising Up and Moving (New York)

Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii (Hawaii)

Drug Policy Forum of Texas (Texas)

Florida Immigrant Coalition (Florida)

Healing Communities Prison Ministry and Reentry Project (Pennsylvania)

Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (Illinois)

Korean Resource Center (California)

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (California)

Legal Voice (Washington)

Maryland CURE - Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (Maryland)

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery, Delaware Chapter (Delaware)

9to5 Atlanta Working Women (Georgia)

9to5 Bay Area (California)

9to5 Colorado (Colorado)

9to5 Los Angeles (California)

9to5 Milwaukee (Wisconsin)

Perspectives, Inc. (Minnesota)

Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste –

Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United (Oregon)

Public Justice Center (Maryland)

Rights for All People (Colorado)

Safe Streets Arts Foundation (Washington, DC)

Sahara of South Florida, Inc. (Florida)

Satrang (California)

Sneha, Inc. (Connecticut)

South Asian Bar Association of Northern California (California)

St. Leonard’s Ministries (Illinois)

 

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