Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), who spearheaded the effort to encourage the Department of Justice and FBI to begin tracking and quantifying hate crimes against Sikh, Hindu, and Arab Americans, applauded the recommendation of the FBI's key law enforcement advisory body to update the FBI's Hate Crime Incident Report Forms, which serve as the primary mechanism for the federal government to document hate crimes committed in the U.S., to include crimes against these communities. 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. last August.
"I am thrilled the FBI's law enforcement advisory board agrees that the Hate Crimes Incident Report Forms must be updated to include at-risk communities like Sikhs, Hindus and Arab Americans. This has been a long time in the making, and I am proud to have joined the many organizations and citizens who spoke out on this issue to say that the status quo just isn't good enough," said Rep. Crowley. "While this is a monumental step forward, our work cannot end here. That's why I'm calling on FBI Director Mueller to fully and urgently implement the Board's recommendation."
Following the Advisory Policy Board's ruling, Crowley, along with Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Adam B. Schiff (CA-29), Michael M. Honda (CA-17), Gary C. Peters (MI-14), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2) and Ami Bera (CA-7), immediately circulated a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller among their House colleagues urging the FBI to urgently enact the Board's recommendation.
In April 2012, Crowley led a letter signed by 93 members of Congress urging the FBI to update the Hate Crime Incident Report Form (1-699) to include crimes committed against Sikh-Americans. Following the August 2012 attack on the Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wis. Crowley spearheaded the introduction of a Congressional resolution recognizing the contributions of the Sikh-American community and urging action on hate crimes. In March 2013, Crowley 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. Last week, Crowley submitted testimony to the FBI Advisory Policy Board reiterating his strong support for updating the hate crimes documentation form and sharing feedback and concerns from his conversations with Sikh, Hindu and Arab American communities over the past year.
Congressman Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.