May 18, 2021 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) applauds the U.S. Representatives for its overwhelming approval today of the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer National Opposition to Hate, Assaults, and Threats to Equality (NO HATE) Act, following Senate passage last month. The vote was 364-62.
“The myriad American organizations and communities that have together advocated for this important legislation, coupled with the strong bipartisan support garnered in the House of Representatives and the Senate, shows that Americans recognize the urgent need for concrete action against hate, and shows as well that we can achieve unity over division,” said Jason Isaacson, AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer. “We look forward to President Biden swiftly this bill into law.”
U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), Fred Upton (R-MI), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) introduced the measure, along with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS).
The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act will improve hate crimes reporting and governmental responses to hate. The FBI is required by law to gather data on hate crimes annually, but the information is chronically inaccurate. Victims inconsistently report hate crimes, and law enforcement is not always equipped to identify crimes as motivated by bias. Because reporting is voluntary, only 13 percent of the nation’s law enforcement agencies submit any hate crimes data to the FBI. More than 70 cities with at least 100,000 residents failed to contribute to the latest FBI Hate Crimes Statistics report or reported zero hate crimes.
Jews remain the most targeted victims of religiously motivated hate crimes in the FBI reports. AJC’s 2020 State of Antisemitism in America report found that 76 percent of those who were the target of an antisemitic attack or remark did not report it.
The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act will incentivize state and local law enforcement authorities to improve hate crime reporting by making grants available, to be managed through the Department of Justice. The grants, authorized from existing funds, will provide resources such as law enforcement training, the creation of reporting hotlines, increased resources to liaise with affected communities, and public educational forums on hate crimes.
AJC garnered support for the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act from numerous partners, organizations, and constituencies, including the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, dozens of Asian American partners, religious leaders, and minority groups across the country.