Legislators are calling for responses after the report reveals "blatant" racist profiling by Michigan border officials
Due to an obscure 100-mile zoning law, border officials believe they have the authority to search the US without a warrant on an international waterway, "the Michigan ACLU said. And border officials used this supposed authority to conduct “blatant” racist profiling, the organization continues.
"Although people of Latin American descent make up only 16.8% of the state's foreign-born population, 85% of non-nationals arrested by the border patrol were from Latin America," the report said. And an overwhelming number of people who are stopped by border guards have status. More than 33% are US citizens. Another 13% have legitimate status. "Instead of following his mandate to patrol the Canadian border, Border The patrol arrests people who are mostly established and long-term Michigan residents. "
"The agency uses 'complexion codes' to describe arrested people," the report also said. "Significantly, more than 96% of those arrested are recorded as 'black', 'dark brown', 'dark', 'light brown', 'medium brown', 'medium' or 'yellow'." The last "complexion code" is very effective, by the way outdated and obnoxious.
The ACLU report also found that local and state law enforcement agencies “play a key role in helping the border patrol target people of color. Nearly half of border patrol arrests (48.6%) began with one State or local law enforcement agency initiated a traffic stop. Michigan State Police are by far responsible for making more contact with Border Patrol than any other law enforcement agency that results in people being arrested and turned over to federal.
"More worryingly, the ACLU has identified at least 14 encounters in which local law enforcement arrested a person with no suspicion of wrongdoing and then turned them over to CBP agents," Raskin and Tlaib told Mayorkas. “Such longer stops are unconstitutional. In 2012, the Supreme Court warned that there were "constitutional concerns" when state and local law enforcement agencies "do not delay the release of detainees for any reason other than to verify their immigration status." actually had to pay millions to settlements to immigrants who were wrongly imprisoned in this way.
Specifically, the report describes a disturbing incident when US citizen Arnulfo Gomez and two passengers were allegedly stopped by Michigan State Police over a loud exhaust. For a moment it looked like they would be allowed to drive on until an officer saw her accent and said that a colleague with a border guard was nearby. This agent then molested Gomez's wife and threatened her with arrest. The report said Gomez watched the interaction with horror for fear that their two children with U.S. citizens would tear their families apart.
Finally they were allowed to leave. "There was no reason for him to stop us," Gomez said in the report. “As soon as he saw that we were brown, he was after us. Then they immediately called Border Patrol. Everything that happened to us was wrong. We've been targeted just because we're tanned. "The Michigan ACLU said in the report that" (u) fortunately, this family's experience is not unique. "
"We are deeply concerned about what appears to be discriminatory abuse of office and taxpayer money," Raskin and Tlaib continue in their letter to Mayorkas. "The DHS must provide a full explanation of how it is addressing the issues disclosed by the ACLU." The Michigan ACLU thanked the committee for investigating Mayorkas and stated in a statement that "(w) we are responding to the DHS Look forward to the report and the reforms that will emerge from this briefing. "