U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on April 6th introduced a bipartisan resolution condemning hate crimes, discrimination, and other forms of animus targeting individuals and communities across the United States. The Senate passed the resolution unanimously last night.
The resolution cites violent incidents targeting Jewish, Muslim, African-American, Hindu, and Sikh communities. It also mentions the vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, bomb threats against Jewish community centers, and burning of mosques and Islamic centers.
The resolution calls on federal law enforcement, working with state and local officials, to investigate all credible reports of these occurrences in the United States, hold perpetrators accountable, and bring them to justice.
“In America, no one should live in fear due to their religion, race, or ethnicity,” said Harris. “I am proud to lead this bipartisan group of senators with one voice to condemn the rise of hate crimes that target minority communities, as well as any form of religious or ethnic bias, racism, discrimination, or other forms of hate. Many of our constituents have been directly impacted by the unconscionable rise of hate crimes and hate-motivated violence in the United States, and law enforcement must do more to ensure minority communities are secure. Today, we stand united in our condemnation and rejection of hate-motivated crimes as an attack on the fabric of American society and the ideals of pluralism and respect.”
“Embracing diversity of thought and people from different backgrounds has made America a more perfect union,” said Rubio. “Unfortunately, there are still some individuals who seek to tear our social fabric apart with violent acts and threats fueled by hatred. With many in our country and around the world feeling discouraged by this divisiveness and animosity, it’s important to make it clear that we stand united in condemning the targeting of anyone simply because they are different.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in an April 5 memo announced a new subcommittee within a task force in the Department of Justice that will specifically combat hate crimes. Sessions, in the memo, provided an update to 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and Department of Justice component heads on the Department’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, which he created Feb. 27.
The Hate Crimes Subcommittee will specifically address hate crimes in the nation. Other subcommittees announced included developing violent crime reduction strategies, supporting prevention and re-entry efforts, updating charging and sentencing policies, reviewing asset forfeiture guidance, reducing illegal immigration and human trafficking, and evaluating marijuana enforcement policy.
The announcement of the subcommittee targeting hate crimes came just days after more than a dozen U.S. senators called for President Donald Trump’s administration to launch a new task force to prevent hate crimes.