March 27, 2017

Senator Harris Joins Colleagues to Introduce Comprehensive Legislation to Counter Trump Immigration Actions

The PROFILED Act establishes minimum standards of procedure and humane treatment for U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and immigrants who are impacted by immigration enforcement and detention operations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris, a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, joined colleagues to introduce the PROFILED Act, legislation that would guarantee basic due process rights and protections for any individual detained because of a suspected immigration violation or during an immigration-related enforcement action.  The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

“The Trump Administration’s executive orders that target our immigrant communities undermine our nation’s core values, compromise public safety, and hurt our economy,” said Sen. Harris. “Individuals who have entered or come to the United States deserve protection from unlawful detention, deportation, and racial biases. This is especially important for our most vulnerable populations, including women and children at risk of being separated as a result of detention. I stand with our immigrant communities and will continue to advocate on their behalf.”

The PROFILED Act aims to protect people like Bernardo Medina, an American citizen who spent three days in an immigration detention center because ICE didn’t think “he looked like” he was born in the United States and “suspected” him of being a Mexican citizen living in this country illegally. The bill also ensures victims of domestic violence, like the recent case of a Texas woman, can safely go to a courthouse and seek a civil protection order against their abuser without fearing that ICE will show up and detain them.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Immigration Law Center (NILC), EarthJustice and 152 others have endorsed this legislation:

“This bill is a necessary antidote to curb DHS’s unchecked immigration enforcement powers,” added Joanne Lin, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel. “In 2017, immigration detention rates have reached all-time highs and Homeland Security enforcement actions have been so far-reaching that they have ensnared Dreamers, homeless people leaving a church shelter, and even a domestic violence survivor obtaining a restraining order in court.  These due process violations have occurred because there are virtually no controls or regulations governing DHS’s conduct.  All immigrants and all Americans are entitled to a government that abides by the Constitution and protects their right to due process."

"In its zeal to enact its xenophobic mass deportation agenda, the Trump administration has shown a blatant disregard for due process or other basic rights,” said Marielena Hincapi é, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). “We applaud Senator Menendez and his colleagues for fighting to prevent profiling from happening any longer. This bill would help put protections in place to uphold the basic rights of all immigrants, lawful permanent residents and citizens.”

“The PROFILED Act will bring unprecedented accountability, transparency, and oversight to the ICE apprehension and detention process and simultaneously stop the construction of President Trump’s divisive border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The misguided border wall, the militarization of the border, and the criminalization of immigrants are all part of Trump’s radical xenophobic agenda, and LULAC applauds the efforts of Senator Menendez to stand up against these policies and champion the interests of our community.” added Brent Wilkes, LULAC National Executive Director.

The President’s border wall and immigration policies are nothing short of harassment. Harassment somehow justified by vilifying border and immigrant communities as the Administration eliminates critical due process and environmental protections. We applaud Senator Menendez and the other cosponsors of the PROFILED Act for standing up to such bullying. The bill would reduce the militarization of the border by stopping the construction of a costly border wall and providing long overdue reforms for better transparency and accountability,” concluded Raul Garcia, Legislative Counsel at Earthjustice.

The Protecting the Rights of Families and Immigrants Who Legally Entered from Detention (PROFILED) Act

  • Requires due process protections from state and local law enforcement agents, who may be the first point of contact with a person suspected of an immigration related offense;
  • Makes it illegal for law enforcement and federal agents to profile people suspected of an immigration related offense on the basis of their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion or gender identity;
  • Directs ICE and law enforcement not to conduct immigration enforcement activities on or near sensitive locations like schools, Federal or State court proceedings, childcare providers, places of worship etc.;
  • Requires additional procedural protections for parents separated from their children at detention facilities; 
  • Protects vulnerable populations like pregnant or nursing women, elderly, those with a disability or mental health needs, LGBTQ, etc. from unnecessary detention if they do not pose a threat to national security and are not considered a flight risk; and
  • Rescinds President Trump’s Executive Order 13767, “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” and Executive Order 13768, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”.

A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.