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Beyer Statement On Senate Passage Of Hate Crimes Legislation

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), author of the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, issued the following statement after the bill was successfully added by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) as an amendment to the COVID-19 Hate Act Crimes Act, introduced by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), which then passed the Senate 94-1:

“The legislation which passed the Senate today would greatly strengthen our nation’s response to the alarming wave of hate crimes. While the process has necessarily required compromise from both parties, the final bill produced in the Senate will also find strong bipartisan support in the House. I encourage leadership to expedite consideration of this legislation in the House so that we can send it to the President’s desk.

“Thanks to the efforts of Senators Blumenthal and Moran, the good bill put forward by Senator Hirono and Congresswoman Meng now includes the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, which I first introduced five years ago. Our bill would greatly improve hate crimes reporting and expand assistance and resources for victims of hate crimes, and it has drawn robust support from leading civil rights organizations and law enforcement advocacy groups.

“I want to thank Senator Moran for his leadership in helping persuade his colleagues to take up this measure, and Senator Blumenthal whose partnership on this legislation made it a better, stronger bill. My House co-leads, Reps. Chu, Upton, and Buchanan have helped make the case to our colleagues and to the public in favor of the NO HATE Act, and I look forward to working with them to help secure House passage of this broad hate crime legislation of which it is now a part.”

Beyer originally introduced the National Observations of Hate, Assaults, and Threats to Equality (NO HATE) Act in 2016. The bill was subsequently renamed after Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer, who were killed in hate crimes.

The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act was reintroduced two weeks ago for the 117th Congress by Beyer, House co-leads Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA), Fred Upton (R-MI), and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and Senate sponsor and lead cosponsor Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS).

The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act would help combat the recent surge in hate crimes by:

Improving Reporting of Hate Crimes: This legislation will improve reporting of hate crimes by supporting the implementation of and training for NIBRS, the latest crime reporting standard, in law enforcement agencies without it. This will allow law enforcement agencies to record and report detailed information about crimes, including hate crimes, to the FBI. In 2019, more than 86 percent of agencies that participate in reporting hate crimes to the FBI reported zero hate crimes. Helping law enforcement agencies recognize and report detailed information on hate crimes and report that data to the FBI will help establish a clear picture of the threats that vulnerable communities are facing across the country.

Encouraging Law Enforcement Prevention, Training and Education on Hate Crimes: This legislation will provide support to law enforcement agencies that establish a policy on identifying, investigating and reporting hate crimes, train officers on how to identify hate crimes, develop a system for collecting hate crimes data, establish a hate crimes unit within the agency, and engage in community relations to address hate crimes in that jurisdiction.

Establishing Hate Crime Hotlines: This legislation will provide grants for states to establish and run hate crime hotlines, to record information about hate crimes and to redirect victims and witnesses to law enforcement and local support services as needed. This will make sure that hate crimes don’t go unreported and victims get the help that they need.

Rehabilitating Perpetrators of Hate Crimes through Education and Community Service: This legislation will allow for judges to require individuals convicted under federal hate crime laws to undergo community service or education centered on the community targeted by the crime.