The Obama administration came out with new guidelines on racial profiling for federal law enforcement officers Monday. Several civil rights organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and the NAACP say the policy is a step in the right direction. However, the organizations are also concerned the guidelines don’t go far enough.
The new profiling policy includes gender, religion and sexual orientation. Previously, only race and ethnicity were covered. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke about the new guidelines while in Atlanta last week.
Today advocacy organizations publish a new report based on data made available through FOIA litigation with the state and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement that both outline the metastasizing growth of local police's involvement in immigration enforcement and the resulting patterns of prejudice and collateral deportation in local practice with little to no evidence of any relation to actual public safety efforts.
The data reveals that the federal agency's practice of requesting the extended incarceration of an individual because of the suspicion of the immigration status known as ICE detainers rose 17,169% from 2007 to 2013 with 96% of those targeted being of "dark or medium complexion."
Just before the close of Georgia’s 2014 legislative session last week, the state’s General Assembly granted final approval to a law that would allow state workers to drug test food stamp recipients. The law, H.B. 772, now awaits the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican.
An earlier version of the bill would have made drug testing mandatory for all food stamp recipients, but members of the House changed the bill’s wording after a federal judge ruled that a similar law in Florida violated the Fourth Amendment. To avoid the same fate, H.B. 772 was rewritten to require “reasonable suspicion” that a food stamp recipient was using illegal drugs before caseworkers could order a drug test.
The primary mission of this Conference is to continue the building of a broad based Coalition that will develop strategies collectively on the approaches necessary to END the New Jim Crow in Georgia & the United States. Becoming increasingly organized locally will contribute more to the growing national movement to STOP MASS INCARCERATION.
Georgia is the latest state to consider legislation that could sanction discrimination in the name of religious freedom.
There are two versions of the Georgia bill – a state House version, HB 1023, and a state Senate version, SB 377. Both would affirm the “right to act or refuse to act in a manner substantially motivated by a sincerely held religious tenet or belief whether or not the exercise is compulsory or a central part or requirement of the person’s religious tenets or beliefs.” Where those beliefs conflict with local, state or federal law, the government would have to prove that the law is meant to pursue a “a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”
DAY of OUTRAGE
Enough is Enough!
ts time to make Atlanta a better city for all of us.
We demand an end to the practices of profiling and harassment.
We demand solutions that do not criminalize our communities.
Tuesday, February 25th
Atlanta City Hall, Mitchell Street Entrance
2:00 Press Conference and Rally
Following the Federal District Court’s order today in Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, et al. v. Deal, et al., a coalition of civil rights groups announced the next steps in their effort to dismantle the state’s anti-immigrant law, HB 87. Significant parts of the law have been blocked by the courtsbut one provision remains that allows police officers to ask the federal government to verify the immigration status of individuals who are lawfully detained on state-law grounds. It does not allow for stops, arrests or even extending detention just for immigration verification. Today’s order holds that challenges to that provision’s implementation must be brought in other suits, rather than the original case that the coalition filed before HB 87’s effective date in 2011.
SB 160, a bill passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal, goes into effect today. Although the primary purpose of this bill was to fix problems created by Georgia’s anti-immigrant law, HB 87, the new bill added some new provisions that we at the ACLU of Georgia fear will harm our state’s immigrant communities and their families.
These provisions include the addition of new items to Georgia’s list of public benefits subject to verification of citizenship and immigration status, as well as limits to the use of foreign passports as acceptable identification in Georgia. These changes to Georgia law make a bad situation worse.
A federal judge in Arizona recently held that Sheriff Arpaio and his Deputies have engaged in racial profiling against Latinos in Maricopa County. The decision found that policies and practices of Arpaio and his office are discriminatory, violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The ruling which came asresult of a lawsuit by the ACLU and other organizations vindicated not only immigrant communities in Maricopa County who have long endured Arpaio's reign of terrorbut also communities across the country including here in Georgia where programs leading to racial profiling such as 287(g) have been in effect for several years.
287(g) enlists local police as immigration officers and has been active in four Georgia counties - Cobb, Gwinnett, Whitfield, and Hall.
ATLANTA — On March 21, 2013 at 10:00 a.m., Georgia-based human rights and faith groups will host a press conference in front of the State Capitol to call on legislators to reject legislation that promises to embroil Georgia in further controversy and reputational harm. If passed in its current form, HB 125 will have a similar effect as some of the worst provisions in Alabama’s law by denying many immigrants access to utilities, marriage certificates, and municipal buildings requiring ID. The groups will call on the legislature to instead act on its original intent and pass sensible legislation to alleviate some of the burdens imposed by HB 87.
Press conference to announce human rights and faith groups’ unified opposition to anti-immigrant legislation pending at the Georgia legislature.
Nan Orrock, State Senator
Pedro Marin, State Representative
Rev. Gregory Williams, Lead Pastor, The Power Church
Adelina Nicholls, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights
Azadeh Shahshahani, ACLU Foundation of Georgia
Miriam Zuniga, Freedom University
Everitt Howe, Atlantans Building Leadership for Empowerment
PJ Edwards, Travelers Together immigration education and advocacy ministry
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Outside the Georgia State Capitol, Washington Street side