New Arizona and Tennessee Laws Encourage Racial Profiling

Home/New Arizona and Tennessee Laws Encourage Racial Profiling
New Arizona and Tennessee Laws Encourage Racial Profiling 2017-03-28T06:53:23-05:00


New Arizona and Tennessee Laws Encourage Racial Profiling

Know Your Rights! Resources Available

Tennessee residents planning to travel or stay in Arizona should be aware that on April 23, 2010, Arizona enacted a state racial profiling law that will require police officers to demand papers proving U.S. citizenship or immigration status from any individual whom they stop, detain, or arrest, based on an undefined “reasonable suspicion” that the individual is in the country unlawfully. It invites discrimination against and pretextual stops and arrests of Latinos, other racial minorities, and individuals believed to look or sound “foreign.” If individuals are unable to prove to the police officer that they are permitted to be in the United States, they may be subject to warrantless arrest without any probable cause that they have committed a crime.

New legislation in Tennessee also effectively requires individuals who could be perceived as foreign-born to carry immigration documentation at all times so that they can prove they are in the country legally in case they are arrested. The Tennessee law differs from Arizona’s in that it requires an arrest before immigration status is checked. However ACLU-TN is concerned that with the passage of this legislation, law enforcement in Tennessee will be more likely to arrest an individual for a minor infraction, rather than to issue a citation, in order to trigger an immigration investigation. The Tennessee law goes into effect January 1, 2011.

Know Your Rights When Encountering Law Enforcement / Conozca Sus Derechos Frente a los Agentes del Orden Público

Travel Alert for the State of Arizona / Alerta a Viajeros para el Estado de Arizona

What to Do If You’re Stopped by Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI / Qué Debe Hacer Si La Policía. Agentes de Inmigración o el FBI Lo Detienen

Frequently Asked Questions About the Arizona Racial Profiling Law / Las preguntas más frecuentes acerca de la ley de discriminación racial de Arizona

To view more information on your mobile device: Stopped by Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI? Know Your Rights / Para ver mayor información desde su teléfono móvil sobre los derechos de los individuales si son parados por la policía, visite al

Materials informing individuals of their rights when stopped by law enforcement and more information about the Arizona law, including an ACLU video and slide show, can be found here.

More information about the ACLU’s lawsuit, including information on co-counsel and plaintiffs, can be found here.