25 senators urge Trump administration to respond to 'alarming increase' in hate violence

25 senators urge Trump administration to respond to 'alarming increase' in hate violence
© Getty Images

More than two dozen senators are calling on the Trump administration to respond to an "alarming increase" in hate violence across the country.

In a letter to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDem: Trump’s policy of separating children, parents at border ‘would shock Jesus’ Don't let them fool you — Republicans love regulation, too Sally Yates: Trump's demand for FBI investigation is ‘a step beyond dangerous’ MORE, the 25 senators said there has been an "alarming increase in bias-motivated violence," BuzzFeed News reported.

"Many members of racial, ethnic and religious minority communities, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, live in very real fear for their safety," the letter said.

“They are scared,” the lawmakers wrote to Sessions, “and it is incumbent upon you as our nation’s chief law enforcement officer to demonstrate to them and all Americans that discrimination and violence against any individual because of who they are, how they worship, or who they love will not be tolerated in our country.”
The lawmakers requested that Sessions prioritize funding for the Community Relations Service and Civil Rights Division. They said the Justice Department needs to "reaffirm" its "commitment to work with state and local officials in prosecuting hate crimes."
The letter comes after a recent uptick in anti-Semitic incidents. Many Jewish community centers have received bomb threats since the beginning of the year.
The FBI is also investigating last month's Kansas shooting of two Indian immigrants as a hate crime. The suspect in the incident was reportedly heard shouting "get out of my country" before shooting at the two Indian men at a restaurant in Olathe, Kan. 
During an address Tuesday to a joint sessions of Congress, President Trump condemned the recent spate of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and the destruction of Jewish cemeteries.

"Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation's path toward civil rights and the work that still remains," he said. 

"Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week's shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms."