Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus on Monday urged the Department of Homeland Security to adopt a uniform racial profiling policy that doesn't allow any exemptions.

In a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, the lawmakers took issue with the guidelines published earlier this month allowing "carve outs" for agencies like Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration.


They argued the exemptions for the racial profiling ban in the case of activities in the "vicinity of the border, or to protective, or screening activities" left people vulnerable to unfair targeting based on their appearance.

"[T]he guidance creates a two-tiered standard where certain entities and activities are covered with the full force of the guidance and others are not, thereby opening the door to patent profiling and invidious discrimination. This is especially true because border and screening activities are precisely where naked profiling has been the most pervasive," the lawmakers wrote.

The lawmakers noted that Asian Americans endured "patent profiling and xenophobia, particularly at the hands of the U.S. government" during the days of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. In recent years, they wrote, American Muslim and Middle Eastern communities have been subjected to racial targeting in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"For these reasons, CAPAC urges you to adopt a single standard for all DHS agencies that prohibits profiling, without exception," they wrote.