The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties recently held a hearing entitled “Racial Profiling and the Use of Suspect Classification in Law Enforcement Policy.”

The purpose of the hearing was to give different civil rights organizations and members of law enforcement the opportunity to express their concern about the role that race and ethnicity plays, when determining a suspect’s guilt. The hearing also discussed reintroducing the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) by the House and Senate. ERPA has been introduced three times previously but has never passed.

If approved this time, it would essentially undo Arizona’s SB1070 in that it will prevent any local, state, or federal law enforcement agency from engaging in racial profiling, and making it a condition that they must show efforts to decrease racial profiling to receive federal funding.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already filed a lawsuit against the new Arizona law on the basis that it will inevitably rely on the biases of its officers to determine who is asked for proof of citizenship.

Jennifer Bellamy of the ACLU legislative counsel stated that “despite condemnation of racial profiling by leaders from across the political spectrum, including the president and the attorney general, attempts to pass a comprehensive federal ban have not moved forward. Racial profiling has undermined the respect and trust between law enforcement and communities of color, which is essential to successful police work. Race, ethnicity, and religion are not and should not be grounds for criminal suspicion. Congress should move quickly to reintroduce and pass the End Racial Profiling Act.”

Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU, and Salt Lake City Chief of Police Chris Burbank both made statements that Arizona’s new law is a waste of law enforcement resources and diminishes trust between law enforcement and Latinos.