NEW YORK, April 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- American Jewish Committee applauded U.S. senators for overwhelmingly approving today, by a vote of 94-1, the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer National Opposition to Hate, Assaults, and Threats to Equality (NO HATE) Act.
"Decisive bipartisan support in the Senate for this landmark bill demonstrates that unity is achievable in building defenses against hate," said Jason Isaacson, AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer. "We now look to rapid House passage of the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, and to President Biden signing it into law."
Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act in the Senate earlier this month. Importantly, the bill will improve hate crimes reporting and governmental responses to hate. The FBI is required by law to gather data on hate crimes annually, but the information is undeniably inaccurate. Victims inconsistently report hate crimes, and law enforcement is not always equipped to identify crimes as motivated by bias. Because reporting is voluntary, today only 13 percent of the nation's law enforcement agencies submit any hate crimes data to the FBI. More than 70 cities with at least 100,000 residents failed to contribute to the latest FBI Hate Crimes Statistics report or reported zero hate crimes.
The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act will incentivize state and local law enforcement authorities to improve hate crime reporting by making grants available, to be managed through the Department of Justice. The grants, authorized from existing funds, will provide resources such as law enforcement trainings, the creation of reporting hotlines, increased resources to liaise with affected communities, and public educational forums on hate crimes.
Jews remain the most targeted victims of religiously-motivated hate crimes in the FBI reports. AJC's 2020 State of Antisemitism in America report found that 76 percent of those who were the target of an antisemitic attack or remark did not report it. This, coupled with inaccurate and incomplete hate crimes data to the FBI, limits federal, state, and local governments' and institutions' abilities to address hate crime related issues – the scope, location, and severity of the problem.
In the 116th Congress, the House twice passed the NO HATE Act as a provision in coronavirus stimulus bills, but neither were passed by the Senate.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee