Allegations of Harassment, Profiling Along America's Northern Border

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The border between Canada and the United States. (Emily Bell/flickr)

According to a report released earlier this year, Latino and Arab communities who live along the border between Canada and the United States are experiencing an increase in instances of racial profiling by border patrol and other federal agents. In response, the Council on American-Islamic Relations is suing the FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for what it claims has been religious profiling and mistreatment of Muslims at the border. According to CAIR, some Muslim Americans have been questioned about their faith when crossing the border.  

"There is no empirical data to back up that the way someone prays, or how many times a day they're praying, has any connection or correlation to criminal activity or to extremism," said Dawud Walid, the executive director of CAIR-Michigan. "As a matter of fact, there's some data that has come out from the University of North Carolina in relationship to investigating potential extremism or terrorism. The more devout a Muslim is, the more prayerful they are, the less likely they are to be involved in any type of extremism or activity."

Meanwhile, immigrant advocacy groups and eleven members of Congress have called for an independent investigation into reports of alleged abuse and religious and racial profiling by Border Patrol agents along the border. 

WDET reporter Martina Guzman spoke with advocacy groups in Michigan who are calling on federal agents to amend their policies. As of the time of this broadcast, neither the FBI nor ICE has issued any comment because many of the cases are still under investigation. 

Guests:

Martina Guzmán

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Elizabeth Ross

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