FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Keith Rushing, Communications Director, krushing@rightsworkinggroup, (p) 202.591.3305, (c) 202.557.4291
July 24, 2013, Washington, D.C – Rights Working Group welcomes President Barack Obama’s decision to comment Friday on racial profiling and racial disparities in the criminal justice system in the aftermath of the acquittal of George Zimmerman. Rights Working Group was encouraged by his acknowledgement of the need for federal action to address these problems.
In a June 20th letter sent to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton, 165 faith, labor, immigration, and civil rights organizations called for an end to the 39 287(g) agreements in effect in 19 states and for any new applications to be
By Sameera Hafiz
Policy Director - Rights Working Group
May 29, 2013 -- A federal judge ruled last week that Maricopa Country Sheriff’s Office, headed up by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, engaged in systemic racial profiling of Latinos and illegal detentions in violation of their constitutional rights.
In addition, Judge G. Murray Snow has prohibited the sheriff’s department from using race as a factor in attempting to determine whether someone is undocumented.
What may have started as a well-intentioned plan to save the state of Virginia money and let low-level lawbreakers off the hook has turned into a nightmare for Prince William County’s immigrant community.
Since 2010, prosecutors across Virginia have automatically waived jail time for minor misdemeanors, allowing judges, in turn, to waive defendants’ right to a legal counsel. Under this new system, those accused of minor offenses, like marijuana possession, can simply plead guilty, pay small fines or comply with light penalties, and return to their lives as usual.
287(g) is a discriminatory immigration enforcement program that has been proven to result in racial profiling. But instead of ending the program, DHS is planning to expand the program next year to 11 new jurisdictions.