WHEREAS, In May of 2006 at a base in Kuwait, 60 members of a New Mexico National Guard unit were ordered to remove their shoes, socks and shirts in order that military investigators check for Gang Tattoos; and

WHEREAS, members of the Rio Rancho New Mexico based Task Force Cobra were searched with alleged racial profiling and discrimination due to the large number of Hispanics; and

WHEREAS, a New Mexico soldier said in regards to the search, “…that I didn’t feel like an American today.” Another soldier said, “It reminds him of a similar incident that occurred when he was younger because he was Hispanic;” and

WHEREAS, on May 26, 2006, Agent Paul McGuire with the Army Criminal Investigation Command conducted the check at the Ali Al Salem base in Kuwait, was confronted about his expertise in identifying gang tattoos when he was informed by a lieutenant with the Task Force Cobra that the platoon’s sergeants were in law enforcement and would know of gang activities; and

WHEREAS, McGuire said, “During the viewing, there was high tension among the troops who related that they felt as though they were being picked on…because they were Hispanic and National Guard;” and

WHEREAS, six of the fifty-eight soldiers initially refused to be searched but complied after being threatened with arrest and charges by the investigating agent; and

WHEREAS, Commander, Capt. Ivan Forrest Salkin, ordered that there would be no more checks until the agent produced a search warrant. He also added that he had no idea that the tattoo check was an issue with his soldiers. He objected to his solders being threatened with the arrest for refusing to comply; and

WHEREAS, the checking and discriminatory search was based on an uncorroborated allegation made by a Wisconsin soldier that the Task Force Cobra was rife with gang members; and

WHEREAS, New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens State Director, Paul Martinez said, “Racial profiling is reprehensible and should not be tolerated in the U.S. Armed Forces,”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens demand a congressional investigation on the alleged discriminatory and profiled search of Hispanic military soldiers serving in Iraq by the U.S. Army,

THEREFORE LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the U.S. Army present personnel apologizes to each and every soldier searched for tattoos,

THEREFORE LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the U.S. Army not retaliate against military personnel who protested the search and check of the New Mexico National Guard for gang tattoos.

Approved this 14th day of July 2007.

Rosa Rosales
LULAC National President

LULAC  l  2000 L Street, NW, Suite 610  l  Washington, DC 20036  l  (202) 833-6130  Fax: (202) 833-6135