The most troubling finding in the GAO report is that Customs' most invasive, time-consuming search methods X rays (often coupled with the forced ingestion of laxatives) is performed disproportionately on African-American women, who are forced to submit to these searches nine times as often as their white female counterparts. This is despite a success rate of finding contraband that is significantly lower with black women than with white women. Although the number of people subject to this practice is fairly small about a thousand people per year minority groups such as the Urban League have wasted no time in using the findings to press the presidential candidates on racial profiling in general.
It's an issue that polls show is important to swing voters with most moderates favoring an end to the practice and even more important to minorities, something Bush would do well to take note of as he continues his attempts to court the Hispanic vote. (According to the report, Latinos were also victimized, though to a lesser extent, by the Customs Service's actions.) As for Gore, he has to hope that his early pronouncements against the practice and some distancing from the administration on its civil-right record will keep him from harm. But you can bet this is an issue Wolf Blitzer and Larry King won't be able to resist introducing into presidential debates.