Rep. Lujan: Hate Crimes Legislation will Protect Americans from Violence, Preserve Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Today, Rep. Ben Ray Luján voted in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913). This bipartisan bill provides tools and resources to help local law enforcement prevent and prosecute hate crimes. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 249 to 175.
"Our shared values dictate that no person should be subject to violence because of intolerance," said Rep. Luján. "This legislation will give local law enforcement the tools to protect all Americans while protecting our civil rights, civil liberties, and freedom of speech."
More than 118,000 hate crimes have been documented by the FBI since 1991. In 2007 alone, there were 7,624 reported hate crimes. By providing local law enforcement with the tools and resources to prevent and prosecute hate crimes, this legislation will protect the rights of all Americans.
Several key law enforcement groups support the legislation including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Sheriffs' Association, Police Executive Research Forum, Hispanic American Police Command Officers, Police Foundation, and National District Attorneys Association
A diverse group of faith organizations support the legislation including Alliance of Baptists, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ - Justice and Witness Ministries, American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Conference, The Episcopal Church, B'nai B'rith International, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sikh Coalition, and Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE).