Donald Trump said he is open to racially profiling Americans, particularly Muslim Americans, if that means he can get ahead of more ISIS sympathizers.
"I think profiling is something that we're going to have to start thinking about as a country," Trump told CBS’s Face The Nation Sunday. "You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it and they do it successfully."
In wake of tragedy in Orlando last week — the deadliest mass shooting in American history — Trump has escalated some of his most anti-Muslim sentiments, reaffirming his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States and renewing his calls for additional surveillance on mosques and Muslim communities. Trump cited Israel as an example of effective racial profiling.
While Trump is right that Israel openly relies on what it calls "human intelligence" in addition to the machine surveillance the American Transportation Security Administration uses, it is not without controversy. The system often leaves Muslims and Palestinians in hours of interrogation, implementing a method that has widely been dismissed. Ranjana Natarajan, the director of the Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, explained racial profiling’s effects for the Washington Post:
Profiling undermines public safety and strains police-community trust. When law enforcement officers target residents based on race, religion or national origin rather than behavior, crime-fighting is less effective and community distrust of police grows. A study of the Los Angeles Police Department showed that minority communities that had been unfairly targeted in the past continue to experience greater mistrust and fear of police officers. To root out this ineffective tactic that undermines public confidence, we need stronger policies against racial profiling at all levels — from local to federal — as well as more effective training and oversight of police officers, and systems of accountability.
While the American Constitution prohibits unequal treatment under law, many states do not have laws protecting citizens against racial profiling. The practice is already pervasive in the United States — African Americans and Hispanics are stopped by police disproportionately more than white people.
But Trump said all this in Trump fashion, shielded himself from the negative implications of advocating for racial profiling by framing the proposal as a last resort.
"And you know, I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense," he said Sunday.