Ethnic profiling involves the targeting of, or ‘singling out’ of people for the purposes of security, border control and policing using stereotypes based on nationality, colour and religion. It is a form of racism and is outlawed under international human rights law. It is a problem in Ireland because Irish citizens do not have to carry ID, but it is an offence for an immigrant not to carry ID.
All evidence shows that ethnic profiling is ineffective, and causes untold damage to community relations when members of ethnic minority communities feel under constant suspicion. MRCI has documented this practice and is working to ensure that reforms to Irish immigration law do not include the requirement for immigrants to carry ID. A recommendation from our report Singled Out: Exploratory Study on Ethnic Profiling in Ireland is that police and immigration officials are held accountable and clear procedures are in place to deal with complaints.