Washington, March 23: New Yorkers of South Asian descent are confronting the impact of profiling by national and local law enforcement agencies even ten years after 9/11 terror attacks, according to a new report.
South Asians also reported feeling targeted by various government entities in several arenas including interactions with local law enforcement and the FBI, immigration officials, and airport security, according to the report released Thursday by seven South Asian organizations.
On interactions with law enforcement, for example, 73 percent of respondents surveyed were questioned by law enforcement about their national origin; 66 percent reported being questioned about their religious affiliations; and 85 percent reported being questioned about their immigration status.
Entitled, “In Our Own Words: Narratives of South Asian New Yorkers Affected by Racial and Religious Profiling,” the report documents the experiences and stories of New Yorkers who live in a climate of racial and religious profiling.
The report on human impact of pervasive racial and religious profiling in New York City on South Asian families and community is the result of an 18-month collaborative documentation project that included surveys, focus groups, and interviews.
The report underscores that profiling has affected virtually every facet of the daily lives of South Asians, including how they dress, how they travel, how they practice they faith, how they express their identity, and how they interact with family members, neighbours, peers, and the government.
Such institutionalized discrimination has resulted in community members becoming second-class citizens and questioning their sense of belonging in the United States, said the report.
Organizational leaders said New York Police Department is but one of many law enforcement entities that have been engaging in targeting individuals based on their nationality, ethnic origin or religious affiliation for investigations or surveillance over the past decade.
The report is a joint project by the New York City Profiling Collaborative with DRUM – Desis Rising Up and Moving, The Sikh Coalition, United Sikhs, South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!), Coney Island Avenue Project, and Council of Peoples Organization, coordinated by South Asian Americans Leading Together.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)