The Director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, Laura Murphy, is quoted in an article from USA Today about the newly released federal guidelines that aim to restrict racial profiling by law enforcement from the U.S. Department of Justice. The guidelines expand the categories of types of people who can be profiled, and effectively bans racial profiling based on gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity. The Department of Homeland Securities is exempt from these guidelines, and will be allowed to continue the practice of screening and profiling airline passengers and people at border inspections. Laura Murphy states:
"The inclusion of new categories such as national origin, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity; establishment of much-needed data collection and training, and coverage of some state and local law enforcement activities are elements of the Guidance we should celebrate,'' Murphy said. "However, several components…do little to nothing to protect some minority populations that have to endure unfair targeting by law enforcement every day. Using race, the color of someone's skin, religion, or ethnicity as any basis for suspicion or investigation is demoralizing, unconstitutional, and a practice that should be left in the history books, where it belongs.
"This guidance,'' Murphy said, "is not an adequate response to the crisis of racial profiling in America. The president should compel all his federal police, as well as state and local agencies to adhere to the law and stop engaging in biased profiling now."