Menendez Leads Colleagues in Introducing Legislation to Counter Profiling by Trump’s Deportation Force

Menendez Leads Colleagues in Introducing Legislation to Counter Profiling by Trump’s Deportation Force

The PROFILED Act aims to protect people like Francisco Erwin Galicia, an 18 year-old Texas-born U.S. citizen detained for 3 weeks by border officials in Texas because they thought he was undocumented

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), today was joined by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in reintroducing the Protecting the Rights of Families and Immigrants Who Legally Entered from Detention (PROFILED) Act, that would guarantee basic due process rights and protections for any individual detained because of a suspected immigration violation or during an immigration-related enforcement action.

“As Trump’s deportation force ramps up threatening massive ICE raids that will continue to tear families apart, it’s unacceptable that they target, detain – and an even deport -- American citizens and lawful residents because of the way they look,” said Sen. Menendez. “That’s profiling, plain and simple. Our laws must be enforced in a manner that doesn’t undermine the civil rights of American or immigrant families by targeting them just because of the color of their skin. Despite the indiscriminate and merciless implementation of Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, we are a nation of laws and all immigrants must be granted the fundamental right to due process.”  

“Congress has an obligation to make sure that people in our country are protected by our laws and have access to a fair judicial process, and there should be no exceptions to that rule,” said Sen. Gillibrand. “The PROFILED Act would help fight against the Trump Administration’s inhumane and potentially unlawful treatment of many immigrant families. I urge my colleagues to pass this critically important bill, and I will continue working in the Senate to ensure that our immigration policies reflect our values and protect the rights of immigrant communities.”

“Racial profiling is wrong, plain and simple,” said Sen. Booker. “At a time when the Trump Administration is waging an all-out war against the immigrant community, we must make every effort to ensure that people are treated with dignity and respect. This bill would bar racial profiling and mandate that those suspected of immigration violations receive critical legal protections.”

 “As this administration continues to demonize immigrants and threaten raids across the country, we need to ensure everyone in our country has basic legal protections,” said Sen. Harris. “Denying individuals’ due process rights doesn’t make anybody safer—it only undermines our values and sows fear in immigrant communities. I’m proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing this legislation to firmly establish that, as a nation, we will respect the rights and dignity of everybody.”

“The Trump Administration’s racist, xenophobic immigration policies have led to American citizens and lawful residents being racially profiled and wrongly arrested.  This is unacceptable,” said Sen. Warren. “That’s why I am conducting oversight on the issue and am pleased to join Senator Menendez in reintroducing the PROFILED Act.”

The PROFILED Act aims to protect people like Francisco Erwin Galicia, a 18-year-old U.S. born citizen who was recently detained by border officials in Texas because they thought he was undocumented; Bernardo Medina, an U.S. citizen who spent three days in an immigration detention center because ICE didn’t think “he looked like” he was born here, and Andrade-Tafolla, a married father of three children who lives in Washington state and has worked as a road maintenance worker for nearly 20 years.

The legislation would also ensure victims of domestic violence can safely go to a courthouse and seek a civil protection order against their abuser without fearing that ICE will show up and detain them.

“We applaud the introduction of this bill, which provides much needed checks on the this Administration’s cruel and reckless enforcement policies,” said Janet Murguia, President and CEO of UnidosUS. “This bill would make immigration authorities think twice before arresting and detaining the next Francisco Erwin Galicia, an 18-year-old U.S. citizen who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for nearly three weeks, even though he had documents on him that proved he was born in Texas. It is wholly unacceptable that these have become increasingly common occurrences these days. It must stop.”

The PROFILED Act would:

  • Require due process protections from state and local law enforcement agents, who may be the first point of contact with a person suspected of an immigration-related offense;
  • Make it illegal for law enforcement and federal agents to profile people suspected of an immigration-related offense on the basis of their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion or gender identity;
  • Direct ICE and law enforcement not to conduct immigration enforcement activities on or near sensitive locations like schools, Federal or State court proceedings, childcare providers, places of worship etc.;
  • Require additional procedural protections for parents separated from their children at detention facilities;
  • Protect vulnerable populations like pregnant or nursing women, elderly, those with a disability or mental health needs, LGBTQ, etc. from unnecessary detention if they do not pose a threat to national security and are not considered a flight risk; and
  • Rescind President Trump’s Executive Order 13767, “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” and Executive Order 13768, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”.

A copy of the legislation can be found here.