Senate Democrats want more data on hate crimes against Arab Americans

“These senseless acts of hate-fueled violence committed against individuals and groups leave a deep impact on the targeted community as a whole,” the letter stated. “Communities shaken by hate crimes experience widespread fear and terror in the aftermath of bias-motivated crimes.”

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The letter comes after Durbin held a Judiciary subcommittee hearing where lawmakers decided that a lack of information on hate crimes against Sikh, Hindu and Arab Americans made it difficult to know the scope of attacks and prevent the crimes from happening.

“It is important that the federal government begin tracking information about anti-Sikh, anti-Hindu and anti-Arab hate crimes as soon as possible so that law enforcement can more effectively respond to this threat,” the senators wrote. “The frequent occurrence of hate crimes committed against Sikh Americans, Hindu Americans and Arab Americans, as well as the deep impact that these crimes leave on each respective community, demonstrate the need for accurate tracking and reporting.”

In the letter, the senators say that Sikh, Hindu and Arab Americans are often targets of violence because they are mistaken for being radical Muslims.

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazi Hirono (D-Hawaii), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Scott Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) all co-signed the letter.