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Benefits of Racial Profiling Essay

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Updated: May 5th, 2022

Following the September 11 terrorist attack, there has been a heated debate as regards the controversial issue of racial profiling in the United States. By definition, racial profiling is any action used by law enforcement agents or officers based on nationality, ethnicity, or race, other than on the behavioral characteristics of an individual. Constitutionally, the fourth and the fourteenth amendments of the U.S constitution challenge the grounds on which racial profiling is applied. Despite this challenge, proponents of racial profiling have stood their ground stating that it is necessary for curbing crime, reducing illegal immigrants, and curtailing terrorism and terrorist attacks. Although some races like Hispanics, Latinos and American citizens of Arabic descent may feel discriminated against, racial profiling plays an integral role in modern society. The objective of the essay is to explore the pros of racial profiling and offer argumentative support on the same.

From a proponent perspective and as a strong supporter of racial profiling, I am of the idea that law enforcement officers should make use of racial profiling. This is because racial profiling acts as a countermeasure against terrorism and terrorist attacks. As a result, it can be viewed as a way of neutralizing and reducing terrorism and terrorist threats in the U.S, as opposed to discriminatory action. A good example of the effectiveness of racial profiling in curbing terrorism was in August 2006 when 24 men linked to the al-Qaeda group were arrested at Heathrow airport as they tried to blow up an aircraft. Most of the terrorist attacks have been the work of Islam extremists from the Middle East and part of Pakistan. This gives law enforcement officers a reason to profile Arabs or Muslims since their nationality and religious orientation are linked to terrorism. Therefore, racial profiling is effective in screening Arabs in case law enforcement officers are suspicious that the individual may be related to the Al-Qaeda terror group. Before the 9/11 attack on Americans, racial profiling was largely viewed as a discriminatory act. After the attacks policies were made supporting racial profiling by federal agents (FBI) partially on matters related to national security as a way of combating potential terrorist attacks.

Racial profiling can reduce levels of crime and drug trafficking. From a socioeconomic perspective, minority groups (Hispanics, Latinos, and Black Americans) have a higher likelihood of getting involved in drug trafficking compared to majority whites. Therefore, the use of racial profiling by traffic police on minorities is necessary since statistics show that minorities are highly engaged in crimes and criminal activities compared to the majority of whites. For example, it is evident that the majority of the drug cartels and criminal gangs in the U.S are operated and controlled by Mexicans, Hispanics, Latinos, or Black Americans who are part of the minority group. This makes it utterly necessary for traffic officers or airline officers to profile minorities as a distinctive measure against drug trafficking. In the 1990s, stopping minorities in New York City by traffic officers led to the capture of large shipments of drugs which have since reduced drug trafficking. Therefore, despite the critical view that racial profiling is a racial discrimination tool, police officers do not necessarily become racists by stopping minorities. Instead, they aid in reducing drug trafficking and the use of drugs, thereby promoting a drug-free society.

The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S is very high and is expected to increase in the coming years. As a result, natural and recreational resources will shortly become depleted because of high levels of population resulting from illegal immigrants. A good example is the State of Arizona which proposed a bill supporting racial profiling. According to the authorities, the bill would be effective as it would combat the increasing number of illegal immigrants. This means that border patrol police will have the right to arrest or question people without the need for an arrest warrant if the suspects exhibit reasonable suspicion. In addition, it would be a crime to employ or transport any person without well-documented papers to show their legality in the state of Arizona. Although this has raised uproar from human rights groups and opponents of racial profiling, it is a broad measure against illegal immigrants. Furthermore, racial profiling will help law enforcement officers at border points to reduce not only illegal immigrants but also curb child trafficking, drug trafficking, and trafficking of illegal firearms.

Based on the analysis of racial profiling and its associated benefits, I am in support of racial profiling. The major reasons for supporting racial profiling are that it acts as a countermeasure against terrorism and terrorist threats. In addition, it enhances security in airports, thereby promoting security at the national level. It also reduces drugs trafficking and crimes because minority groups are the largest drug traffickers and crime offenders. As a result, this reduces crimes and the level of illegal drug use is minimized thus promoting a drug-free society. When used by border patrol officers, racial profiling reduces illegal immigrants, child trafficking, drug trafficking, and illegal trafficking of firearms.

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