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Friday, February 11, 2011 - 12:31pm

Immigration Bill: Racial Profiling Concerns

Updated: 3 years ago.
provision allowing police to check immigration status of people they suspect are in the country illegally is racial profiling. (Photo by: Krystal Roberts)

Today the House Judiciary committee heard final testimony on a controversial immigration reform bill.

Advocates like Lisa Adler with Amnesty International worry the bill would unfairly target members of the Hispanic community. She says a provision allowing police to check immigration status of people they suspect are in the country illegally is racial profiling.

Usually its members of the African-American community that are stopped and so we believe that this bill will in many ways encourage officers to do the same thing—in this case for somebody who they think is undocumented which will likely be somebody who is brown-skinned, says Adler.

But Representative Matt Ramsey, who introduced the bill, insists that police will act only with reasonable suspicion.

He says, the only way a law enforcement officer can come into contact with an individual in this bill is if they have probable cause to believe that another criminal offense has been committed.

Ramsey has rewritten the bill several times. He says it is still in progress and awaits a committee vote.

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