ADL Welcomes Senate Judiciary Hearings On Racial Profiling; Calls For Efforts To Protect Minority Communities

New York, NY, April 17, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today applauded U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearings on racial profiling and called for the implementation of laws protecting minority communities from stereotyping.

In testimony submitted to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, the League said that it hopes the hearings raise awareness about the detrimental impact of racial, religious, and ethnic profiling, which can promote discrimination and bigotry, cause minority communities to feel alienated and undermine legitimate efforts to promote security and safety.

"We are strongly committed to ending the use of racial, religious, and ethnic profiling, which can alienate and ostracize minority communities," said Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director. "We applaud the Senate's hearing and hope that raised awareness of this pivotal issue will help move us toward a more enduring and effective approach that incorporates law enforcement, community relations, trust, cooperation, and a shared sense of responsibility for public safety. As we discuss the dangers of profiling, we should also salute the extraordinary efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials to prevent and deter terrorism and unlawful activity." 

The League's testimony was submitted to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights hearing on "Ending Racial Profiling in America." In its statement, the League said it has repeatedly expressed concern about "the use of race, ethnicity, or any such criterion as a sole basis for criminal suspicion" and reiterated its opposition to stereotyping based on immutable characteristics.

The full text of the testimony is available on the League's Web site.

Last year, the League helped draft and coordinate a joint statement (PDF) on behalf of 71 religious, racial, ethnic, and civil and human rights organizations that emphasized the damaging nature of racial profiling. ADL has also opposed stereotyping based on racial, religious, and ethnic characteristics by providing training to law enforcement, developing curricula and educational resources (PDF) to promote understanding and respect for differences, and working against harsh anti-immigrant laws that contribute to an atmosphere that fosters distrust, racial profiling and even hate violence.