New guidelines allow racial profiling at airports, border stops

New guidelines allow racial profiling at airports, border stops

New rules against racial profiling by federal agents will exempt officers in airport security and at border points of entry.

The guidelines are due to be announced within days by the Obama administration in an effort to restrict officers’ ability to take racial, religious and national origin factors into account when investigating crimes.


But an official familiar with the rules told the Washington Post Friday that the rules would not apply to many officers in the Homeland Security Department, including those assigned to the Transportation Security Administration and parts of Customs and Border Protection.

They also would not apply to local officers who are more likely to interact with the public regularly, but the Justice Department will recommend that local agencies use the rules as guidance.

The policy will nonetheless go far beyond a 2003 Bush administration guideline to restrict racial profiling, the Post said. It will for the first time include factors like religion, national origin and sexual orientation and drop an overarching national security exemption.

The new policy will also cover the Justice Department, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Post reported.

“This new guidance will codify our commitment to the very highest standards of fair and effective policing,” Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderTrump rebukes Holder, Clinton with 'jobs not mobs' refrain Eric Trump calls out Holder on kicking comments: 'Who says this?' Two Minnesota Republicans report attacks MORE said this week.

Spokesmen from Homeland Security and Justice declined to comment to the Post.

The American Civil Liberties Union told the Associated Press the new rules would be a major step forward against profiling, but they would still be insufficient.

“Focusing on an entire class of people instead of on actual conduct is unfair and harms our national security by wasting scarce government resources and eroding minority communities' trust in government,” it said.