Damning report about racial profiling among Border Patrol agents in Michigan prompts calls for accountability

Aug 5, 2021 at 12:32 pm
click to enlarge U.S. Border Patrol vehicle. - Shutterstock
U.S. Border Patrol vehicle.

U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Jamie Raskin are demanding answers from federal law enforcement authorities after an alarming Michigan ACLU report accused the U.S. Border Patrol of instilling fear in the state’s immigrant communities through “blatant racial profiling.”

The ACLU report relied on thousands of pages of documents through a Freedom of Information Act request and revealed that more than 96% of the people apprehended by Border Patrol agents were recorded as being “Black,” “Dark Brown,” “Dark,” Light Brown,” “Medium Brown,” “Medium,” or yellow.” In addition, 85% of noncitizens apprehended by agents were from Latin America, even though more than 70% of the people arrested in Michigan for entering the U.S. without authorization from Canada were Canadian citizens or originally from Europe.

“Taken together, these findings suggest that CBP’s operations in Michigan are focused less on its lawful enforcement priorities than on harassing longtime residents of Michigan in a way that systematically and disproportionately target those of Latin American origin,” Tlaib, D-Detroit, and Raskin, D-Md., wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

Tlaib and Raskin requested a briefing on how Homeland Security is responding to the ACLU report, along with documents and information related to Border Patrol’s activities in Michigan and the U.S.

“We are deeply troubled by what appear to be discriminatory abuses of authority and misuse of taxpayer funds,” they wrote. “DHS must provide a full explanation of exactly how it is addressing the problems laid bare by the ACLU.”

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