Press Release

March 30, 2023
Cardin, Colleagues Introduce Law Enforcement Reform Bill Targeting Racial and Religious Profiling

WASHINGTON –  U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) Thursday reintroduced the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act of 2023 (ERRPA) that would ban discriminatory profiling by federal, state and local law enforcement nationwide. ERRPA (S. 1084) is designed to promote best practices in community-based policing to strengthen enforcement of the right to equal protection under the law, which is one of our most basic constitutional principles.

“Racial and religious profiling is a scourge to law enforcement that breeds distrust within communities, damages the reputation of all officers and far too often, takes lives,” said Senator Cardin. “While some of the more extreme cases of profiling are easier to recognize, we know that people face harsher penalties due to their race, religion, skin color, or country of origin each day. Our country is long overdue for a national policing standard that will protect the public and build trust.”

Joining Senator Cardin as cosponsors of ERRPA for the 118th Congress are Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Jeff Merkley (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Wash.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

The legislation is endorsed by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, ACLU, NAACP and numerous other groups. It was passed by the House of Representatives as a part of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in the 116th and 117th Congresses.

Senator Cardin led a letter in November of 2022 to the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security asking them adopt stronger guidance against discriminatory profiling.  DOJ and DHS are currently undertaking an ongoing review of their guidance as a result of the President’s May 2022 executive order on “Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety.”

The full text of ERRPA (S. 1084) can be downloaded here. A section-by-section summary is available here.

The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act (ERRPA) is designed to eliminate racial and religious profiling through the following actions:

  • Prohibiting racial profiling, clearly defined in a standard definition as targeting on the basis of actual or perceived race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. This prohibition covers federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies carrying out criminal, immigration, or customs laws.
  • Authorizing both the Department of Justice and individuals harmed by violation of this Act to pursue injunctive or declaratory relief in courts of law.
  • Conditioning the receipt of federal law enforcement and other funding to state and local governments on their adoption of effective policies that prohibit profiling.
  • Authorizing the Department of Justice 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.
  • Mandating training on racial profiling issues as a part of federal law enforcement training as well as the collection and submission to the Department of Justice of data on all routine or spontaneous investigatory activities.
  • Requiring the Attorney General to provide periodic reports to assess the nature of any ongoing discriminatory profiling practices.