NEW YORK, May 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC praised Senate Judiciary Committee members for asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions "to undertake effective action to address the increasing number of religious hate crimes in the U.S." The bipartisan letter, spearheaded by Senator Charles Grassley, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee's ranking minority member, comes amidst a rise in hate crimes targeting Muslims and Jews across the country.
"Effectively combatting hate crimes demands a concerted federal government response," said Richard Foltin, AJC Director of National and Legislative Affairs. "It is imperative that federal authorities help state and local authorities in carrying out their responsibility to monitor and prosecute hate crimes, and bring cases under federal hate crimes laws, where necessary."
The Senators' letter declares that hate crimes are "an affront to the liberty of all Americans, even if they are not members of the particular group that has been harmed." Other Judiciary Committee signatories include Senators Orrin Hatch, Richard J. Durbin, Sheldon Whitehouse, Amy Klobuchar, Christopher A. Coons, and Mazie K. Hirono.
The Senators point out that "the federal government has long played a role in investigating and prosecuting religious hate crimes" and that in situations where state of local governments do not act "the federal government must do so."
Further, the Senators assert, the Justice Department "should work with state and local officials to improve their participation in the Hate Crime Statistics Act's reporting of crimes directed against people of faith and other hate crimes."
The Senate Judiciary Committee letter to the attorney general comes after a series of meetings on Capitol Hill, in which AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, and the Muslim Jewish Advisory Council, a national group co-sponsored by AJC and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), urged the need for vigorous, bipartisan advocacy on hate crimes.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ajc-praises-senators-hate-crimes-letter-to-attorney-general-300448788.html
SOURCE American Jewish Committee