ACLU Challenges FBI On Race, Ethnic Data Collection
August 5, 2010 by Special To Personal Liberty
Amid allegations that the new Arizona immigration law may lead to racial profiling, a civil rights organization has requested records in a separate case that may yet influence the ongoing legal challenges to Arizona’s bill.
In late July The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to release documents related to its alleged collection of race and ethnic information in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
The organization believes that such measures—which are utilized in order to profile neighborhoods for criminal law enforcement or domestic intelligence purposes—may amount to racial profiling and are therefore unconstitutional.
“The FBI’s mapping of communities and businesses based on race and ethnicity, as well as its ability to target communities for investigation based on supposed racial and ethnic behaviors, raises serious civil liberties concerns," said Michael German, ACLU policy counsel who is also a former FBI agent.
The ACLU affiliate offices filed the request under the Freedom of Information Act, saying the public had the right to know about any race- or ethnicity-based law enforcement and intelligence programs.