Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the Florida Congressional Delegation, is pleased to have co-sponsored the "Hate Crimes Against the Homeless Statistics Act" H.R. 3419, which would amend the Hate Crime Statistics Act to include crimes against the homeless.
Each year hundreds of crimes committed against the homeless go unnoticed, unpunished, and uncounted as the homeless are often not equipped to report the crimes committed against them. Further, these attacks -- specifically against the homeless -- are not currently considered hate crimes. This bi-partisan bill will help to increase awareness and reporting of these crimes and decrease the frequency with which they occur.
Said Ros-Lehtinen, "It is imperative that we do everything we can to stop any and all abuse of the homeless and this bill is a crucial first step. I urge my colleagues to not forget the countless number of homeless persons living in our communities and co-sponsor this legislation. They truly have no voice whatsoever but nonetheless they should be protected by the full extent of the law."