According to an article in today’s NY Times, the Obama administration has finally gotten around to broadening the anti-profiling rules guidelines President Bush implemented in 2003. The Bush guidelines were directed at race and ethnicity profiling and carved out common-sense exceptions for national security and border security.
An article in the Times earlier this year explained why the common-sense exceptions had to go:
- The move addresses a decade of criticism from civil rights groups that say federal authorities have in particular singled out Muslims in counterterrorism investigations and Latinos for immigration investigations.
The new Obama guidelines expand the coverage to religion, gender, and sexual orientation, plus eliminate most of the national security exception. Because AG Eric Holder directed this broadening, he had no authority over the border-security guidelines of Homeland Security.
So at least Homeland Security, when dealing with illegal immigrants near the Mexican border, will be able to pay attention to whether an individual appears to be Mexican, but the FBI working counter-terrorism will not be able to pay heed to a gathering of Muslims from the Middle East.
Common sense be damned.