The Justice Department is expected to announce a policy that would largely prohibit consideration of religion and national origin in federal terrorism and illegal immigration investigations, the New York Times reported
If implemented such a policy would mean that Muslim and Latino individuals may not be specifically targeted in counterterrorism or illegal immigration investigations.
Immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks, the government required special registration for tens of thousands of Arab and Muslim men, noncitizens, who were in the United States. The program was largely discontinued after protests from civil liberties groups.
Racial profiling in non-national security federal cases was essentially prohibited in 2003 by the Bush administration.
Current Justice Department rules prohibit, for example, federal law enforcement personnel from using racial information when investigating drug dealing. The rules do not apply to local police.
Muslim American and civil liberty advocacy groups say to be meaningful any new no-profiling policy needs to apply to national security surveillance, according to the Times..
Linda Sarsour, of the National Network for Arab American Communities, said that "adding religion and national origin is huge," however, if they don't close the national security loophole, then it's really irrelevant."
Attorney General Eric Holder met with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to discuss profiling policy on Wednesday, the Times said.
Muslim organizations have sued the New York City Police Department because of NYPD surveillance in Muslim neighborhoods.
A report on home grown terrorism by the Heritage Foundation
found that half of those arrested or killed for plotting terror attacks in the U.S. since 9/11 were citizens or naturalized Americans. The report detailed 60 Islamist plots from Sept 2001 until June 2013.
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