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Letter to the Hon. John Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security - Urging Sec. of Homeland Security to Combat Hate Groups

Dear Secretary Kelly,

Thank you for your recent visit to the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus meeting. At a time when so many Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, and other religious minorities fear for their safety, we were heartened by your commitment to protecting all Americans, but we urge you to now take action to follow through on this commitment.

At the meeting, you said that "One of the first things I noticed from the last administration is that there was not enough focus, in my view, on white supremacy organizations or hate organizations… this intolerance is truly disgusting." Now is the time to take decisive action to combat hate groups and reassure Americans that their government will protect their most basic rights.

From attacks on Indian-Americans to grave desecration at Jewish cemeteries, the recent rise in hate-motivated attacks is troubling to all Americans. Two Indian-Americans were shot in Kansas with the attacker yelling at his victims "get out of my country." In Florida, an Indian-American family's store was almost burnt to the ground. Many more have been harassed and threatened. In an incident eerily reminiscent of Kristallnacht, a Chicago synagogue's windows were smashed and swastikas drawn on the front door.

Contrasting this hatred, we have seen numerous examples of the indefatigable American spirit. Following grave desecrations, hundreds of local community members of all faiths rallied to restore the cemetery. In the midst of the shooting in Kansas, a bystander rushed in, seeking to help his fellow Americans.

These attacks seek to undermine not just public safety, but the very nature of American exceptionalism. For more than two hundred years, the United States has stood as a beacon of freedom from tyranny, oppression, and persecution. A fundamental promise of our nation is that any American - regardless of where you come from, the color of your skin, or how you pray -- can trust the federal government to preserve, protect, and defend their rights.

We respectfully urge you to use the full powers of your office to stop further racially-motivated attacks and combat the roots of hatred and intolerance. We stand ready to work with you and all Americans to turn back this tide of hatred and protect the rights of every citizen.


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