Tennessee is One of Few States Lacking Racial Profiling Definition. A prayer vigil in support of families being torn apart by deportation is planned.
In the last days of our state’s legislative session, a bill has been passed to the Senate Judiciary Committee that would address law enforcement’s lack of a definition of racial profiling. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider SB 3459, a bill that, “Prohibits racial profiling by law enforcement; establishes a cause of action for aggrieved persons; makes violation a Class C misdemeanor.” The bill is characterized as human rights legislation.
There are several bills that bear direct impact on the immigrant communities in our state. Legal status is something that cannot be determined by merely looking at a person. Lack of a proficient command of English should not be grounds for scrutiny by law enforcement. Nor should having an accent! The tenor of several of these bills should make the average person’s blood run cold. One bill would actually have the effect of fostering the hiring of undocumented immigrants, only to see them denied payment of their wages. Under its provisions, the employer would not obligated to pay the employee for his or her labor. Even the indentured servant of colonial days received some compensation in the contract.