Encounters with Law Enforcement: The Vulnerability of Latino Immigrants to Human
Although the United States boasts its democratic values and equality for all its citizens, in practice this is not always the case. Communities of color are often targets of racial profiling that White communities are not. In our current political climate Latinos are indiscriminately labeled as “illegal” and their communities are often under surveillance by law enforcement. The increased contact between law enforcement and Latinos has led to a variety of human rights abuses by the government as well as private individuals exploiting the status of the undocumented and those presumed to be undocumented. The purpose of the project is to figure out the factors that make Latino immigrants vulnerable to human/civil rights abuse by law enforcement. The project will be conducted through interviews and short demographic questionnaires of Latino immigrants who have interacted with law enforcement and will include both those whose rights were violated and those whose rights were preserved. I hypothesize that the factors that will make Latino/a immigrants more vulnerable to human/civil rights abuses are racial profiling and a lack of English language proficiency (a“foreign” or Latino accent).