NCLR to House Judiciary GOP: Don’t Nationalize Texas’ Racial Profiling Law


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the House Judiciary Committee took another step to advance legislation that, if enacted, would pave the way for and accelerate the implementation of several draconian immigration policies. On June 28, NCLR joined more than 400 national, state and local nonprofit organizations in opposing H.R. 3003 and H.R. 3004. These bills, introduced by Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and which are scheduled for vote later this week, are the latest in a group of heavy-handed anti-immigrant bills that the congressman began sponsoring last month.

The bills are further proof of a well-coordinated, anti-immigrant strategy playing out at the federal, state and local levels, pushing measures to increase the criminalization of immigrants, and blow open the doors to racial profiling against Latinos and other Americans, regardless of immigration status. The effect of such measures has been well documented, most recently in the case of Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio. And like the recently passed S.B. 4 in Texas, Mr. Goodlatte’s H.R. 3003 would prevent localities from enacting community-policing practices that shun deputizing local law enforcement to carry out immigration enforcement—undermining community policing practices designed to build trust between local law enforcement and the communities they serve.

The second Goodlatte bill up for consideration this week—H.R. 3004—would significantly expand the administration’s ability to criminally prosecute certain individuals apprehended crossing the southern border, including those fleeing horrific violence. This measure is in lockstep with other recent anti-immigrant measures sponsored by the congressman. Last month, the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill out of committee which would, among other things, criminalize mere unlawful presence.

“America deserves an immigration system we can be proud of, not measures intended to demonize immigrants, put a target on the back of millions of Americans and make us all less safe. Congress has the ability and responsibility to produce the solutions the vast majority of Americans support—including smart enforcement and path to citizenship—but Mr. Goodlatte’s approach continues to be out of touch, out of bounds and out of heart. Both of these bills are shameful and should be voted down,” said Clarissa Martinez De Castro, Deputy Vice President, NCLR.

Law enforcement professionals have warned that harsh measures like these will make communities across the country less safe by serving to drive crime victims and witnesses into the shadows. They also place localities in the position of violating the U.S. Constitution and years of binding federal court precedents. These acts show that the president’s allies in Congress are content to sow seeds of distrust and increase the incidents of racial profiling and wrongful detention of Latinos.