May 22, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Washington, DC (May 21, 2013): It is learnt that a bipartisan group of 23 members of the U.S. Congress, representing the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, have written to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), requesting that the agency begin tracking hate crimes against Sikhs, the way it does for other communities. (Please find the letter at the end of this post/news).
Formed last month, the bipartisan American Sikh Congressional Caucus provides members of Congress a forum to learn about and address Sikh American issues. The Caucus is co-chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA) and Congressman David Valadao (CA) and is composed of more than 30 members of the U.S. Congress.
The new letter builds on earlier letters spearheaded by Congressman Joseph Crowley (NY) in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin in the U.S. Senate. Approximately 140 members of the U.S. Congress have now endorsed our request for Sikh hate crime tracking, a modest policy change that will translate into expanded Sikh awareness training for law enforcement officials and significantly strengthen diagnostic and deterrence efforts in our community’s fight against hate crimes.
Just last week, at a congressional hearing, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder publicly recommended that the FBI begin tracking hate crimes against Sikhs, Hindus, and Arab-Americans. An advisory body of law enforcement experts will make a decision about the issue during the first week of June.
The Sikh Coalition reportedly first requested that the FBI give Sikhs targeted for hate crimes the dignity of recognition in January 2011. We are grateful to the American Sikh Congressional Caucus for joining the growing list of policymakers who support our request.
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