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Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi

Representing the 8th District of Illinois

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi Leads 68 Members of Congress in Urging Secretary of Homeland Security to Combat Hate Crimes

May 1, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON DC – In response to the national wave of hate-motivated crimes against religious minorities, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi authored a congressional letter to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly urging him to use the full powers of his office to combat these attacks and their foundation in hatred and intolerance. Rep. Krishnamoorthi was joined in sending the letter by 68 cosigners.

Rep. Krishnamoorthi’s letter follows Secretary Kelly’s visit to a Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus meeting in which the Secretary told members that he felt there was a need for the Department of Homeland Security to focus more on white supremacist organizations and hate groups.

“I was heartened to hear Secretary Kelly’s recognition of the threat posed by hate groups and other forces of intolerance,” said Rep. Krishnamoorthi. “This letter urges the Secretary to act on that knowledge and use the resources of his department to combat both hate crimes and their root causes.”

The full text of Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s letter follows:

 

The Honorable John Kelly

Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security

245 Murray Lane SW

Washington, DC 20528-0075

 

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.

 

Sincerely,

Raja Krishnamoorthi                                                   Ro Khanna

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                        

Pramila Jayapal                                                           Steve Cohen

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                            

Donald McEachin                                                       Alcee L. Hastings

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                            

Donald S. Beyer Jr.                                                     John Lewis

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

 

 

                                   

Eleanor Holmes Norton                                              Bill Pascrell Jr.

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                             

Ami Bera                                                                     Joseph Crowley

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                                   

Nydia M. Velázquez                                                   Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr.

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                                   

Darren Soto                                                                 Carol Shea-Porter

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                                   

Joyce Beatty                                                               Suzan K. DelBene

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                     

 

                                              

Joaquin Castro                                                            Keith Ellison

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                                   

Tulsi Gabbard                                                             Jackie Speier  

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                           

Bennie G. Thompson                                                  Gwen Moore

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                                   

Bobby L. Rush                                                            Jamie Raskin

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                                   

Bonnie Watson Coleman                                            Janice D. Schakowsky

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                                   

Sheila Jackson Lee                                                     John A. Yarmuth

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                                   

Marcy Kaptur                                                             Earl Blumenauer

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                                   

Donald M. Payne Jr.                                                   Derek Kilmer

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                  

Niki Tsongas                                                               Frank Pallone Jr.

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                                   

Raúl M. Grijalva                                                         Jared Polis

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                                

Judy Chu                                                                     Betty McCollum

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                     

 

                       

Doris Matsui                                                               Alan S. Lowenthal

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                                

Elijah E. Cummings                                                    Dwight Evans

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                         

Daniel T. Kildee                                                         Carolyn B. Maloney

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                           

Dina Titus                                                                   James P. McGovern

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                                   

Joe Courtney                                                               Salud O. Carbajal

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                                

Zoe Lofgren                                                                Maxine Waters

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                         

Norma J. Torres                                                          Colleen Hanabusa

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                                                                 

                                   

 

Charlie Crist                                                                James R. Langevin

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                     

           

                                   

Eliot L. Engel                                                              Eric Swalwell

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                        

Kathy Castor                                                               Lisa Blunt Rochester 

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

 

Jacky Rosen                                                                Peter Welch

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

                                   

Scott H. Peters                                                            Juan Vargas

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

 

                           

Adam B. Schiff                                                           Grace Meng

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress                                                 

                                  

Gerald E. Connolly                                                     Ron Kind

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

 

Lloyd Doggett

Member of Congress

 

A copy of the signed letter is available here