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One Year After Oak Creek Attacks, Members of Congress Commend FBI and Department of Justice for Groundbreaking Decision to Begin Tracking Hate Crimes Against Sikh, Hindu and Arab-Americans

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Location: Washington, DC

oday, Reps. Joe Crowley (NY-14), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Bill Pascrell (NJ-9), Michael Honda (CA-17), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Gary Peters (MI-14), Ami Bera (CA-7), Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2) and Eric Swalwell (CA-15) released the following joint statement applauding the FBI's decision to begin tracking and quantifying hate crimes against Sikh, Hindu, and Arab Americans:

"One year after the Oak Creek killings, we are thrilled the FBI has agreed to begin tracking and documenting hate crimes against Sikh, Hindu and Arab Americans. This groundbreaking decision to collect valuable hate crime data will go a long way towards protecting communities living in fear of being victims of a hate crime. We especially want to thank Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller for this critical move. The decision will serve to strengthen relationships between these communities, local and state law enforcement, the FBI and the Department of Justice."

To date, the FBI has not collected and tracked hate crimes against these communities -- despite serious hate crimes perpetrated against community members, including the massacre at a Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wis. nearly one year ago.

In April 2012, members of Congress led a letter signed by 93 members of Congress urging the FBI and Department of Justice to begin tracking and documenting hate crimes committed against Sikh-Americans. Following the August 2012 attack on the Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wis. Members of the House of Representatives spearheaded the introduction of a Congressional resolution recognizing the contributions of the Sikh-American community and urging action on hate crimes.

In March 2013, Members of the House again led a letter signed by over 100 members of Congress to the FBI Advisory Policy Board to express strong support to begin tracking and quantifying hate crimes against Sikh, Hindu and Arab-Americans. Subsequently, the Advisory Board recommended that the FBI begin collecting this information, though the Bureau has not yet made a final determination.


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