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Congress urged to ban government agencies from racial profiling

[JURIST] Civil rights groups have been pushing Democratic lawmakers to reconsider a bill banning racial profiling by any government entity since an airline's decision to remove a group of imams from a flight [Detroit News report] in November. Rep. John Conyers [official website] (D-MI), chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee, and Senator Russ Feingold [official website] (D-WI), who first championed the bill in the last Congress, are the primary advocates [press release] of the proposal. Although no bill has yet to be introduced, Feingold has made it clear that he intends to pursue the legislation in this year's Congressional session.

The original bill [S.2132 text] proposed banning federal, state and local law enforcement officials from "relying to any degree on race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion" in any government based investigation unless information exists linking a person of a particular race, ethnicity, national origin or religion to a specific incident or plot. Security-oriented groups, such as 9/11 Families for a Secure America [official website], have also begun mobilization against such a bill. AP has more.

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