Sunday, September 23, 2012

Immigration Debate: The Problem With the Word “Illegal”

Undocumented himself, Jose Antonio Vargas in Immigration Debate: The Problem With the Word “Illegal”  explains why the term "illegal" is "inflammatory, imprecise, and most of all, inaccurate. So why does everyone — from Chuck Schumer to Mitt Romney — use it?"

Terminology in the discussion of immigration long has been a bone of contention.


September 23, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 21, 2012

USCIS Releases New and Improved DACA Guidance

From the National Immigration Law Center:

Are you (or your clients) waiting to apply for DACA because you’ve used a Social Security Number (SSN) that was not yours? Or is your employer afraid to provide you with employment records out of fear of immigration enforcement? Are you wondering how many documents are needed to prove your residence in the U.S.? Helpful new guidance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may answer your questions!

• Guidance on SSNs

USCIS’s recently updated FAQ on DACA clarify that Form I-765 only asks for SSNs that have been formally issued to the applicant by the Social Security Administration. Thus, an applicant does not need to list any other SSNs that he or she may have used in the past. (See Question 9 under “Filing Process.”)

• Guidance to Employers

The new USCIS FAQ also let employers know that documentation that they provide to DACA-eligible employees about their employment will not be shared with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) except in cases of egregious criminal violations or abuses. (See Question 4 under “Evidence.”)

Despite this helpful guidance to employers, NILC continues to recommend that DACA applicants avoid submitting employment records that reflect an SSN that does not belong to the applicant, unless the applicant has no other evidence to support DACA eligibility. In such situations, NILC advises applicants to consult with an immigration attorney or attend a DACA legal clinic before submitting a DACA application.

• Guidance on Proving Continuous Residence

A person must prove that he or she has continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, in order to be eligible for deferred action under DACA. Many applicants were concerned about how to document summer months when they were not in school or other, similar gaps. Others have been wondering whether they need to submit one document for each month. USCIS has clarified that only one document per year is required. (See Question 3 under “Evidence.”)



September 21, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Yearbook of Immigration Statistics

Here's the link to the most recent (2011) Department of Homeland Security's Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. The Yearbook contains data on immigration, refugees/asylum, naturalization, and enforcement.


September 21, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Cities Welcoming Immigrants?

Immigration Impact reminds us that some cities welcome immigrants.  Dayton, Ohio in particular has adopted a comprehensive approach to welcoming immigrants. The “Welcome Dayton Plan” covers “everything from health care to public safety.” A section of downtown Dayton is being set aside as “an international marketplace for immigrant entrepreneurs.” Perhaps just as importantly, the Welcoming Dayton Plan is “about changing the city’s culture”—changing the way immigrants are viewed and changing the reception they receive upon their arrival.


September 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Immigrant Detention Industry

According to Immigration Impact, the latest data on immigration enforcement show that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained a record high of 429,247 noncitizens in the 2011 fiscal year, an increase of 18 percent over 2010. Immigration detention has been steadily increasing over the last two decades. A new report by Justice Strategies suggests this increase is largely due to the efforts of private prison companies.


September 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Bittersweet Harvest


As a traveling exhibition by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History (NMAH), Bittersweet Harvest documents an important period in U.S. history. See the following links (and here) for valuable resources on Mexican immigration to the U.S.


September 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Call for Presentations and Papers: 2013 Mid-Year Meeting Workshop on Poverty, Immigration and Property

Call for Presentations and Paper Proposals for presentations and papers are being accepted for the 2013 Mid-Year Meeting Workshop on Poverty, Immigration and Property. The Workshop will be held on June 10-12, 2013 in San Diego, California. It will appeal to a wide range of teachers and scholars interested in these and related subject areas.

While the Workshop will feature several plenary panels about a range of issues implicated by the intersection of poverty, immigration, and property, we also plan to include concurrent sessions. For these sessions we are seeking proposals that are in various stages of development. We are exploring the possibility of publication opportunities with various law journals. We invite any proposal on the topic of the Workshop theme.

Possible topics within the purview of the Workshop theme include:

• Access to Justice (Labor Camps, Counsel, Language)

• Property Implications of Immigration Enforcement • International: Land Distribution, Land Reform, Forced Migration

• Race and Property/Race and Immigration • Climate Refugees: Property, Poverty, Immigration

• Progressive Property: Pro and Con

• Welfare Rights for Immigrants

• Employer Sanctions and Licensing

• Property Formalization

• Home, Housing and Culture

• Property and Citizenship

We expect to select three or four presentations for each of the concurrent sessions. Each presentation will be about 15 minutes, followed by questions from the moderator and the audience. Interested faculty members should submit a brief written description (no more than 1000 words) of the proposed presentation or paper, along with their résumés. Please email these materials to by Friday, October 26, 2012. We will notify selected speakers by December 1, 2012. Please indicate if you would like the opportunity to receive comments from a senior scholar. Eligibility Faculty members of AALS member schools are eligible to submit proposals for the presentation opportunities or for papers. Visiting and adjunct faculty members, along with graduate students and fellows are not eligible. Those selected for the presentation or paper opportunity must register for the Workshop and pay the registration fee. Participants are also responsible for their own travel and other expenses. Please direct questions to the Planning Committee members:

D. Benjamin Barros, Widener University School of Law, at

Sheila R. Foster, Fordham University School of Law, Chair, at

Bill O. Hing, University of San Francisco School of Law, at

Beth Lyon, Villanova University School of Law, at

Ezra E.S. Rosser, American University, Washington College of Law, at


September 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Obama defends record on immigration at Univision forum


In September 2007, ImmigrationProf conducted an exclusive on-line interview with then-Senator Barack Obama on immigration.  (Check it out and be the judge of how successful the President has been in keeping his promises). Immigration was an issue in the 2008 Presidential campaign and likely will be again in 2012.

Yesterday, President Obama fielded questions in a forum broadcast live online by the Spanish-language Univision network.  In explaining the failure to get immigration reform through Congress, the President explained that the first year of his term was consumed by efforts to help the economy and stop the country from going into another Great Depression.  Republicans, he said, kept many significant immigration measures from getting off the ground. "I am happy to take responsibility for the fact that we didn't get it done," Obama said. "But I did not make a promise that I would get everything done 100% when I was elected as president. What I promised was that I would work every single day as hard as I can to make sure that everybody in this country regardless of who they are, what they look like, where they come from, that they would have a fair shot at the American dream. And that promise I've kept."


September 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Poverty in America

According to the newly released U.S. Census report report Poverty: 2010 and 2011, which compares poverty rates in 2010 and 2011 for the nation, states and large metropolitan areas:

•  Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, New Hampshire (8.8 percent) had the lowest poverty rate, and Mississippi (22.6 percent) had one of the highest poverty rates.

•  Among metro areas with populations of 500,000 or more, poverty rates ranged from a low of 8.3 percent in the Washington metro area, to 37.7 percent in McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas.

•  The number and percentage of people in poverty increased in 17 states between 2010 and 2011. For 10 states, this was the third consecutive annual increase. In five states, the number of people in poverty increased while the poverty rates did not increase.

•  Between the 2010 and 2011 American Community Survey, both the percentage and number of people in poverty in Vermont declined.

•  In 27 states and the District of Columbia, there was no change in either the number of people in poverty or the poverty rate.


September 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigrants Losing Policy Fight and Culture Wars

Rinku Sen writes for Colorlines:

Like many others, I’ve worked for years to get Americans to think expansively and compassionately about immigration. In a decade dominated by the push for what’s been dubbed “comprehensive immigration reform,” I’ve argued that immigrants drive economic growth, pay taxes, add value to the culture, and don’t take jobs from native-born people.  Although I wasn’t thrilled with the enforcement elements of the policy—that fence, beefing up the Border Patrol, growing detention and deportation—it seemed amazing that Congress was even considering changing the status of as many as 12 million undocumented people. Most of the immigrant rights movement focused on winning that policy, and for a time, it really seemed possible.   

That was then. In the spring of 2007, the last decent bill authored by John McCain and Ted Kennedy died in Congress. There have been other bills since, each with more enforcement and less legalization. President Obama’s election seemed a hopeful sign, but he refused to move forward without Republicans and then deported record numbers. The moderate Republican on this issue has become scarce; by 2011, even McCain was claiming that border crossers had started wildfires in the Arizona desert. Democrats too have moved to the right, adopting harsher language and stressing enforcement. The immigrant rights movement, for all its vibrancy and depth, has been losing the policy fight.  Read more...


September 20, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

California Immigrant Integration Scorecard

California Immigrant Integration Scorecard () By Manuel Pastor, Rhonda Ortiz, Vanessa Carter, Justin Scoggins, Anthony Perez

With nearly half of California's children having at least one immigrant parent, successful immigrant integration is not a special interest: how those children and their parents do in our economic and civic life will help to determine the future of the Golden State and its regions. But what is immigrant integration and how do we measure it? Our friends at the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration have analyzed a range of data and geography in the California Immigrant Integration Scorecard which measures immigrant integration and progress across ten California regions: Santa Clara, East Bay, San Diego, Sacramento, Orange, San Francisco, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, San Joaquin and Fresno.  The Scorecard highlights regions that are getting it right - to which others might look for best practices, those that have room to improve, and emphasizes the need for statewide strategies.

The Scorecard also shows that immigrant integration can, in fact, be measured and improved. The researchers used a variety of indicators to capture different aspects of immigrant integration in the areas of economic mobility and civic participation as well as the receiving society’s openness. These indicators are grouped into four categories - Economic Snapshot, Economic Trajectory, Warmth of Welcome and Civic Engagement - bringing together 28 indicators of well-being. But it's not just immigrants' well-being that's at stake; the analysis argues that such integration is in all our interests.


September 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

2012 E Pluribus Unum Prizes

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) on Thursday announced the winners of its 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prizes for exceptional immigrant integration initiatives, honoring a Michigan Arab American organization that strengthens ties between immigrant and native-born communities, a California labor-business alliance that provides on-the-job English language and other classes for janitors and a California education coalition that has achieved significant instructional reform for English language learners. Each was given a $50,000 award. The Prizes’ Corporate Leadership Award was given to a major banking institution that supports citizenship promotion and economic empowerment for immigrants.

The E Pluribus Unum winners reflect the diversity of actors in the public and private sectors that are involved in immigrant integration efforts at the state and local levels. The winners will be honored Monday during a plenary luncheon at the National Immigrant Integration Conference, which will draw to Baltimore hundreds of community, advocacy, business and government leaders who work daily to advance immigrant integration in their communities.

The prizes program, established by MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy with generous support from the J.M. Kaplan Fund, seeks to encourage the adoption of effective integration practices and to inspire others to take on the important work of integrating immigrants and their children so they can become full participants in U.S. society. The E Pluribus Unum winners (click on links for more detail about each initiative) are:

• ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Success): Based in Dearborn, MI, ACCESS is the largest Arab American human services provider in the United States. Founded in 1971 in a storefront, ACCESS today serves tens of thousands of individuals yearly, offering people from origins in the Arab world and other immigrant communities a comprehensive array of wraparound services ranging from job training and medical assistance to after-school education. Through its Smithsonian Institution-affiliated Arab American National Museum and other initiatives, ACCESS serves as a national leader in promoting understanding of the Arab American community and has given Arab American groups the tools to help dispel myths and better connect with immigrant and native-born communities.

• Building Skills Partnership (BSP): Launched in the San Francisco Bay area in 2000 in partnership with Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West and later expanded across California, BSP brings together unlikely allies – labor and business interests – to offer janitors and other low-wage property service workers and their families help on the job from professional instructors, volunteer tutors (including college students) and office mentors. Through its ADVANCE program, engineers from Google, Microsoft and other companies tutor the mostly immigrant janitors and service workers who clean their offices, teaching valuable English and computer skills to a population that has few opportunities for educational or career advancement. Each year, BSP provides training for more than 2,000 low-wage property service workers who often have difficulty attending traditional English as a Second Language and instructional programs.

• Californians Together: A statewide coalition of most stakeholder groups in education — parents, teachers, school administrators, school board members and civil-rights groups — Californians Together mobilizes communities and policymakers to protect and improve the education of all California students, including 1.4 million English language learners (ELLs) in grades K-12. Its work has affected the framework for ELL instruction statewide and shaped classroom-level practices to improve the quality of daily instruction ELLs receive. In 2008, Californians Together developed the Seal of Biliteracy, an award given by school leadership in recognition of students who attain a high level of proficiency in two or more languages (including English) by high school graduation. In 2012, more than 10,000 graduating high school students earned this first-in-the nation state recognition for biliteracy. New York recently enacted its own Seal of Biliteracy and other states are seeking to follow suit.

• Citi: Winner of the Corporate Leadership Award, Citi works with non-profit and public-agency partners to reduce financial barriers to citizenship for eligible legal immigrants and to expand economic empowerment for underserved low- and moderate-income individuals and communities. Citi Community Development is a key supporter of Citizenship Maryland, a first-in-the-nation initiative supported by a major banking institution that offers microloans to help legal immigrants who are eligible for citizenship afford the $680 application fees. The goal of the Maryland program, launched in 2011 and coordinated by CASA de Maryland, is to remove financial barriers to citizenship while also building participants’ financial knowledge. Citizenship has demonstrated benefits in terms of opening new opportunities for education, jobs and increased income. Yet more than 8 million legal permanent residents eligible to apply for citizenship have not done so.


September 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Stop Mi Pueblo from Implementing E-Verify

From the Dignity Campaign:

Recently Mi Pueblo Foods shocked Latino and immigrant community when management decided to voluntarily implement the controversial and reportedly defective Federal immigration program known as E-Verify, which disproportionately targets Latino and immigrant communities. Workers claim management has also re-verified their work eligibility status. The E-Verify program purports to allow private employers to determine the eligibility of employees and job applicants to work in the United States.

Mi Pueblo’s management claims they decided to do so because they were under a lot of pressure from the Department of Homeland Security to adopt E-Verify. However, on Monday, September 15, 2012 a reporter from the Los Angeles Times quoted a spokesperson from the Department of Homeland Security who asserted that this government agency does not force employers to use the E-Verify program.

We stand with Mi Pueblo workers, customers, the broad interfaith community, elected officials, and local residents. Should Mi Pueblo Foods decline to stop the implementation of E-Verify and refuse to sign the Mercado Code of Conduct, we pledge to support and promote the planned boycott of every Mi Pueblo Foods store, which will initiate on October 8th, 2012 at 12:00 noon.
WHAT: Rally and March
WHEN: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WHERE: Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (2020 E. San Antonio St., San Jose, CA). Thereafter we will march to the Mi Pueblo store located on the corner of Story and King Rd.

TIME: Gather at 4:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe

For More information call Glenda Villalta at 408-582-4070


September 20, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Arizona Begins Enforcing Section 2(B) of S.B. 1070: Latinos in Arizona Better Be Ready to SHOW THEIR PAPERS

It seems like the battle over Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement measure S.B. 1070 has been in the political and judicial year for a very long time, all the way up to the Supreme Court and now back to Arizona.  Yesterday, Arizona police began enforcing Section 2(B), the one provision of S.B. 1070 upheld by the Court.  Under Section 2(B), state and local police are required to check the immigration status of persons with whom they have lawful contact and have a reasonable suspicion are undocumented.  Click here, here, and here about the latest developments on this new day in Arizona.

The district court lifted the injunction barring Section 2(B) from going into effect on Tuesday.  Civil rights groups challenging the law are appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, raising the concerns that Section 2(B)'s implementation will result in the racial profiling of Latinos.


September 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Realizing Liberty: The Use of International Human Rights Law to Realign Immigration Detention in the United States by Denise Gilman


Realizing Liberty: The Use of International Human Rights Law to Realign Immigration Detention in the United States by Denise Gilman, University of Texas School of Law.

Abstract: This article takes a comprehensive look at the extensive U.S. immigration detention system from a human rights perspective. The article represents a first effort to synthesize and present recently-developed international human rights standards and apply those rules to the U.S. immigration detention system. It engages in an in-depth analysis to identify the changes necessary to realign U.S. law and scale back immigration detention in accord with international human rights law. The article proposes that U.S. courts should effect those changes through the interpretation of constitutional and statutory provisions in light of the international human rights law standards. This use of the human rights standards is appropriate, because the standards represent binding obligations for the United States as a matter of international law and closely track U.S. constitutional law principles relating to civil detention in contexts less contentious than immigration. The article demonstrates how the application of international human rights law standards can bring rationality and humanity to U.S. immigration detention by revitalizing the right to liberty, which constitutes a core conception in both international human rights law and U.S. constitutional law.


September 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Report Examines Black Immigrant Mothers’ Prenatal Behaviors and Birth Outcomes

Although most of the research literature finds that foreign-born mothers experience better birth outcomes than their U.S.-born counterparts, the birth experiences of black immigrant mothers have received relatively little attention. In addition, little is known about black immigrants’ prenatal behaviors such as smoking and use of prenatal care.

In Black and Immigrant: Exploring the Effects of Ethnicity and Foreign-Born Status on Infant Health, Virginia Commonwealth University health economist Dr. Tiffany Green compares prenatal behaviors and birth outcomes of black immigrant mothers to those of other immigrant and U.S.-born mothers, using federal vital statistics. The report also analyzes mothers’ rates of smoking and prenatal care use.

Green finds that black immigrant mothers are less likely to give birth to preterm or low-birth-weight infants than U.S.-born black women, yet are more likely to experience these adverse birth outcomes than other groups of immigrant and U.S.-born women. Green also finds that although black immigrant mothers are the least likely of any group, U.S. or foreign-born, to smoke, they also have the lowest rates of first-trimester prenatal-care initiation. However, neither smoking nor prenatal-care initiation can explain why black immigrant mothers experience poorer infant health outcomes than their non-black counterparts.


September 19, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Susan Collins Endorses UAFA

From the Immigration Equality Action Fund:

I wanted you to be among the first to know: Senator Susan Collins of Maine has just signed on as a co-sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act! Senator Collins becomes the first Republican co-sponsor in this session of Congress, sending a strong message to both parties that keeping our families together is a bipartisan concern.

“This important civil rights legislation would help prevent committed, loving families from being forced to choose between leaving their family or leaving their country,” Senator Collins said today.

We’re so grateful to Senator Collins for her support and leadership. We’re also proud to acknowledge the hard work of our friends at the Human Rights Campaign, who were key in securing the Senator’s support. Today’s news underscores the effectiveness of the broad coalition working to secure UAFA’s passage.

If you are a constituent of Senator Collins, please call and thank her for her support. You can reach her office at (202) 224-2523. If your Senator isn’t yet a supporter, send them a note and ask them to follow Senator Collins’s lead.

We are closer than ever to ending the discrimination, separation and exile our families face every day. With your help — and the support of leaders like Senator Collins — we will win.

Yours in the Fight,

Rachel B. Tiven, Esq.
Executive Director
Immigration Equality Action Fund


September 19, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

You Be the Judge: President Obama or Governor Romney for President?


Courtesy of Mother Jones



You be the judge.

Who is more thoughtful?

Who is more Presidential?

Who would better represent all Americans?

Who is a better statesman?

Who is more sensitive to the interests of Latinos, immigrants, and minorities?

Who makes you proud to be an American?

UPDATE (9/19 1:40 PST):   CNN headline: "CNN/ORC poll finds President Obama holds a 52%-44% lead over Mitt Romney in Michigan, where Romney was born and raised."


September 19, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Global Clinical Movement: Educating Lawyers for Social Justice by Sameer M. Ashar


Review Essay -- The Global Clinical Movement: Educating Lawyers for Social Justice by Sameer M. Ashar UC Irvine School of Law August 1, 2012 Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 62, p. 193.

Abstract: This ambitious volume, edited by clinical scholar Frank S. Bloch with contributions from clinicians at forty-three law schools spanning six continents, begins an essential dialogue about the meaning of the spread of clinical legal education across borders. I argue here that the meaning of this programmatic spread remains uncertain, contingent, and contested. Indeed, this volume should cause us to question the contested meaning and purposes underlying clinical legal education at law schools both within and outside of the United States. I argue for thick description of the content of clinical work and the contexts in which clinics operate. The goal of subsequent scholarship in this area should be to develop taxonomies of institutional form that allow us to assess and further develop clinical legal education. Second, I argue for nuanced description of the movement of people and ideas across borders so as to understand more fully the relationships between clinics in different parts of the world, as well as to consider how clinical legal education fits within larger theoretical frameworks in the field, such as law and development theory. Third, I argue for a theory of justice education that captures the dynamics between experiential education, legal education, legal profession, and civil society and nation. I contend that making law clinics and law schools more permeable to social movements ought to be a central strategy in the development of justice education both in the United States and abroad.


September 19, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Justice Department Releases Investigative Findings on the Alamance County, N.C., Sheriff’s Office Findings Show Pattern or Practice of Discriminatory Policing Against Latinos

After years of advocacy in North Carolina, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that Alamance County's 287(g) agreement has been terminated. Here is the press release:

Following a comprehensive investigation, the Justice Department announced today its findings that the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) in North Carolina, under the leadership of Sheriff Terry S. Johnson, engages in a pattern or practice of misconduct that violates the Constitution and federal law. The department conducted its investigation, which it opened on June 2, 2010, pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI).

The Justice Department finds reasonable cause to believe that ACSO engages in a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing against Latinos in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and Title VI. ACSO’s discriminatory policing activities include:

ACSO deputies target Latino drivers for traffic stops;

A study of ACSO’s traffic stops on three major county roadways found that deputies were between four and 10 times more likely to stop Latino drivers than non-Latino drivers;

ACSO deputies routinely locate checkpoints just outside Latino neighborhoods, forcing residents to endure police checks when entering or leaving their communities;

ACSO practices at vehicle checkpoints often vary based on a driver’s ethnicity. Deputies insist on examining identification of Latino drivers, while allowing drivers of other ethnicities to pass through without showing identification;

ACSO deputies arrest Latinos for minor traffic violations while issuing citations or warnings to non-Latinos for the same violations; ACSO uses jail booking and detention practices, including practices related to immigration status checks, that discriminate against Latinos;

The sheriff and ACSO’s leadership explicitly instruct deputies to target Latinos with discriminatory traffic stops and other enforcement activities;

The sheriff and ACSO leadership foster a culture of bias by using anti-Latino epithets (such as referring to Latinos as "taco eaters");

and ACSO engages in substandard reporting and monitoring practices that mask its discriminatory conduct.

Taken together, these practices undermine ACSO’s ability to serve and protect Alamance County’s Latino residents and the community at large.

“The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office’s egregious pattern of racial profiling violates the Constitution and federal laws, creates distrust between the police and the community and inhibits the reporting of crime and cooperation in criminal investigations,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Constitutional policing and effective law enforcement go hand-in-hand. We hope to resolve the concerns outlined in our findings by working collaboratively with ACSO, but we will not hesitate to take appropriate legal action if ACSO chooses a different course.” The Justice Department’s thorough and independent investigation included an in-depth review of ACSO policies, procedures, training materials, and data on traffic stops, arrests, citations, vehicle checkpoints and other documentary evidence. Department personnel also conducted interviews with more than 125 individuals, including Alamance County residents and current and former ACSO employees. Addressing these findings and creating sustainable reforms will require ACSO to commit to long term structural, cultural and institutional change. In particular, ACSO must develop and implement new policies, procedures and training in effective and constitutional policing. Any reform efforts must also include systems of accountability to ensure that ACSO has eliminated unlawful bias from its decision making at all levels.

The department will seek to obtain a court enforceable, comprehensive, written agreement remedying the violations and incorporating these reforms by attempting to work with ACSO officials. The Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division conducted this investigation with the assistance of consultants in law enforcement and statistical analysis. Members of the Alamance County community who wish to provide information to the department may call 1-877-871-9726 or email . For more information on the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, please visit

Here is a letter with the DOJ's findings.  AP's report can be found here.


September 19, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)