TSA Behavior Detection Officers Accused of Racial Profiling Called Themselves 'Mexican Hunters'

Posted Jun 15th 2011 12:33 PMUpdated Jun 15th 2011 12:35 PM


Airport Security Engaged in Racial Profiling in Newark

Inha Leex Hale, flickr

A 2010 TSA report obtained by the Newark Star Ledger is offering an inside look into the work of Liberty International Airport's behavior detection officers, who apparently spent so much of their time stopping travelers of Latin American descent that they dubbed themselves the "Mexican Hunters."

The so-called "Boston Report" on the Newark screeners, compiled from early 2008 to late 2009 by inquiry officers based out of Logan International Airport, contains descriptions of manager-supported racial profiling, policies of ignoring actual behavioral stress indicators, and officers' cavalier attitude towards public safety.

According to the report, the BDO officers were focussing on Mexican and Dominican passengers in order to find improper visas and passport stamps that would allow the unit to refer cases to immigration and create a paper record of apparent productivity. The report was written during a time of turmoil at Newark Liberty, as stories surfaced about screeners' incompetence.

Blame for the racial profiling landed at the feet of Behavior Detection Manager Luis Chevere, who was disciplined in September, 2010 for urging his officers to single out Latin people. Mr. Chevere denied the accusations against him to the Star Ledger's Steve Strunsky and claimed his boss had simply passed the buck to avoid blame.

Barbara Powell, the airport's federal security director while the Boston Report was being written, was replaced in April by a former JFK International Airport staffer. She has landed on her feet as a senior advisor in the TSA's Office of Human Capital in Virginia.

The TSA claims to maintain a strict no-profiling policy.
Filed Under: Air Travel, News

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Put 'em on the border. Let them get molested.

June 16 2011 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hi, Im a latino 48 years old man and every time I traveled to China I get detained and Interrogated, Is on my way to China or on comingback from China........Their excuse? common name......Shame on the US Dpt.of Land Security that can not identified a hard working person from a terrorist suspect......Shame on this people practicing this type of profiling at airports all over US. and Shame on Home Land Security.

June 16 2011 at 9:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is very true my sister a U.S. citizen of Peruvian descent as well as me have always been stop at the at the ramp boarding the plane because of the way she looks asking her why is she traveling how much money is, she taking , who is she going to see and very rude about it and it only happens at Newark Liberty .

June 16 2011 at 9:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate when I'm around other US immigrants who think they know how to profile... I remember one time i was walking with my niece and a Russian elderly couple looked at us and was like f'n n**g go back to ur country I just broke down and laughed it did hurt me a little!!! but just the fact this country is built on immigration were immigrants...if you don't like looking at other race's then this country is not for u!!!! Stay at what ever country your from .... I respect all immigrants who come down and want to better themself. But to discriminate againts another immigrants come on... this a joke. I bet when u wake up in the morning getting ready for work a random stranger is looking at you like they never saw a human being before!!!!

June 16 2011 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sure they profile. They spot and identify criminal aliens everyday. The key is that it doesn't matter. The borders are wide open and will continue to be so as long as the criminal alien vote is a valuable asset.

June 16 2011 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

With all the hate against the TSA agents - you wonder ho in the hell would take those jobs? You got it "Americas losers" thats who. If you are a loser in the US, there are three jobs you take - TSA - LAW ENFORCEMENT- IRS. These are all bottom feeders !

June 16 2011 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is so sad that it happens in the U.S

June 16 2011 at 9:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Barbara Powell..landed on her feet....typical government incompetance which would not be tolerated in the real working world. Racial profiling...TSA NOOOOOO say it ain't so...they are dedicated, impersonal, caring individuals who will protect us all, will not abuse or embarrass us when they molest us ..often just because they can, be it man woman or child. The majority wanna be REAL pohleeeeez but cannot pass all the requirements so they become play pohleeeeeez and think they have hit the big time. TSA one step above rent a cop...

June 16 2011 at 9:10 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

After 911 should they be looking for Mexicans? If i worked there there would be some profiling for sure.. But Mexicans?

June 16 2011 at 8:36 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Dunkin Doughnuts TSA, Big fat ass idiots, these are the people that are entitled to treat passengers like crap.

June 16 2011 at 8:10 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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