For the past 8 years, Congress has been trying to pass the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA), a law that would bar certain law enforcement agencies from using racial profiling as a tool to search for criminal suspects. The Sikh Coalition is supporting this bill because of the impact that racial profiling can and is having on visible minorities, including Sikhs.
In the post-9/11 environment, Sikhs have been subjected to arbitrary detention, searches, and stops by law enforcement officials on the basis of actual (or perceived) race, religion, ethnicity, and national origin. In the airport context, the Coalition has found that, Sikhs are secondarily screened 100%of the time at some airports around the nation.
Apart from undermining civil rights, these practices divert scarce resources away from legitimate law enforcement activity, which instead should be aimed at investigating actual criminal activity. In other words, wearing a turban, keeping a beard, or having dark skin should not in of itself invite extra scrutiny from law enforcement officials.
Why is ERPA important to Sikhs? Learn More