In the wake of September 11th, we are presented with a timely opportunity to demonstrate the clear distinction between law enforcement practices that are reasonable and effective, and those that improperly threaten individual rights. The Migration Policy Institute and NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic are spearheading a collaborative effort to analyze the extent to which the FBI, the INS, and state/local police are relying on ethnicity, race, or national origin in their investigations. The Cornell Law School is also collaborating on the project. By documenting the experiences of individuals of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent, as well as those of the Muslim faith, who have been arrested and/or detained by law enforcement in the aftermath of September 11, our project will identify both best practices and law enforcement procedures that encroach upon civil rights and liberties. These case studies will be part of MPI’s efforts to frame recommendations and monitor legislative and administrative practices, an undertaking designed to provide Congress and the public with a sound basis for evaluating law enforcement efforts.
To gather this information, we will speak with people who, since September 11, have been detained or questioned by local or federal law enforcement in a custodial manner--a situation in which they were not free to leave. We will also contact family members of those being detained, attorneys of detainees, and organizations that serve communities disproportionately affected by ethnic and racial profiling. Each person’s preferences for confidentiality will be respected fully.
If you, your client, or your organization is willing to share relevant information, please contact: Rebecca Miller and Sandeep Solanki at NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic by telephone at: 212-998-6626 or 212-998-6628. Or by e-mail at [email protected] or[email protected].