History of Underserved Population
- Pages: 4
- Word count: 774
- Category: Racial Profiling
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When people talk about an “underserved population,” the first thing that comes to mind could minorities. But there is more to an underserving population than a minority’s race or ethnicity, such as their skin color and cultural background. Because of these two factors, it can cause a red flag that we like to call racial profiling. A population that undergoes the most racial profiling in traffic stops are Latinos. Immigration in the United States, the authority held by law enforcement, and lack of perspective in the Latino community are all valid explanations for the racial profiling Latinos have faced.
The Fourth Amendment states that people have a right to be secured against unreasonable searches and seizure without probable cause. “Latinos pose a danger not because their conduct is illegal, but because of their purported status- they are illegal. Therefore, they are more in danger to being searched” (Carbado and Harris, 2011). This statement reflects that race can always be a probable factor when it comes to immigration laws which breaks the Fourth Amendment, though some may argue that is not the case. This does not concern just immigrants, but also people of Hispanic descent. Latinos are moving away from the west and southern areas of the states that consist of a smaller Latino population, which increases the chances to become a victim of racial profiling. The results of has a negative impact for Latinos with their mistrust and lack of interaction with law enforcement due to their fear of officials asking about their immigration status.
United States v. Martinez-Fuerte was a huge national case that involved the approach to allow traffic stops and immigration checkpoints, specifically away from the Mexico border and does not violate the Fourth Amendment. Due to this case, a woman named Bonnie Castro was detained on the road with her child because of a license plate that read “PUREMEX,” which emphasizes her cultural background. The police searched her car for illegal drugs and found nothing, but instead cites her for driving without insurance (Mucheti, 2005). There is a clear comfort level to authorities when it comes to racially profiling someone based on their skin color, but also shows a lack of knowledge to other cultures. Repeated incidents can cause stereotypes and bias against Latinos in white America. Due to the cycle of these events we hear in the media or in neighborhoods, Latinos can undergo serious emotional, psychological, and physical trauma which can lead to negative emotions concerning law enforcement.
Social workers for the Hispanic population are an expanding necessity that requires the knowledge and a broad understanding of human diversity. The Council of Social Work Education provides guidelines for BSW and MSW curriculums indicating they shall “promote understanding, affirmation, and respect for people from diverse backgrounds” and should “emphasize the interlocking and complex nature of culture and personal identity, as well as related factors that many influence assessment, planning, intervention and research” (de Haymes and Kilty, 2007). This will create an effective practice not only for the Latino community, but also for people with diverse backgrounds.
Laws and policies have been put in place against immigrants, making it harder to receive any type of benefits. One event that sparked debate is an argument that Texas can refuse to give birth certificates to children of undocumented parents in 2016. According to the constitution, if you were born in the US, you are a citizen. The article takes place of a speaker named James Harrington, who is the founder of the Texas Civil Rights Project. He explains how families do not cross a border because they want, it’s because they are coming here for their lives (Refusal, 2016). The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1956 (PRWORA) denies social security, food stamps, and a 5-year ban of federal benefits to qualified immigrants who entered the U.S after August 1996 and can also deny or limit aid given.
Taking everything into account, the perspective towards the Latino community is an issue that law enforcement seems to struggle with. An interesting study conducted by Theodore and Habans (2016) stated that if legal or illegal immigrants continue to refrain from interactions with higher authority, this can have a negative implication in future generations with their encounters. Immigration in the United States from Latinos will continue to be an ongoing reason as to why they are a target for racial profiling. Law enforcers must find solutions to prevent racial profiling with minorities and engage in some change to their protocol in training that includes a gain of knowledge in the communities they are serving, without indicting Latinos and other minority groups of crime, stereotypes, and feeding them fear.