“Mexican Hunters” Profiled Latinos At New Jersey Airport
Screeners for the Transportation Security Administration, TSA, spent about a year from 2008 to 2009 routinely profiling “Hispanic male passengers, especially Mexicans and Dominicans, to see if they had proper visas or passport stamps.” It was so bad that the TSA officials became known by their co-workers as the “Mexican hunters.” There’s more, The Daily mail reported:
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers told investigators that screeners routinely singled out Hispanic men for referral to law enforcement under trumped up suspicions, in an orchestrated scheme to pump up numbers.
The report claims a group of TSA screeners called behaviour detection officers, or BDOs, were supposed to look for passengers who appeared nervous or suspicious…
However, the report alleges that from early 2008 to late 2009, BDOs routinely looked for Hispanic male passengers, especially Mexicans and Dominicans, to see if they had proper visas or passport stamps.
The profiled passengers were “subjected to bag searches, pat downs, questioning and referrals to immigration with bogus behaviours invented by the screeners to cover up the real reason the passengers were singled out.”
I remember it was 2002 and I was boarding a plane from Chicago and the “random” screenings managed to pull in a group of three — all three — young Latino men for search at once. I would venture to say this wasn’t just going on in Newark, but everywhere else, too.
Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD
[Photo By Yuichi Kosio]