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[Congressional Record: October 7, 2003 (House)]
[Page H9223-H9228]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr07oc03-72]                         



 
    CONDEMNING BIGOTRY AND VIOLENCE AGAINST ARAB-AMERICANS, MUSLIM-
          AMERICANS, SOUTH ASIAN-AMERICANS, AND SIKH-AMERICANS

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree 
to the resolution (H. Res. 234) condemning bigotry and violence against 
Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, South Asian-Americans, and Sikh-
Americans.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                              H. Res. 234

       Whereas all Americans are united in supporting American men 
     and women who protect our Nation abroad and at home;
       Whereas thousands of Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, 
     South Asian-Americans, and Sikh-Americans serve in the 
     military and in law enforcement, working to protect all 
     Americans;
       Whereas the Arab-American, Muslim-American, South Asian-
     American, and Sikh-American communities are vibrant, 
     peaceful, and law-abiding, and have greatly contributed to 
     American society; and
       Whereas all Americans, including Arab-Americans, Muslim-
     Americans, South Asian-Americans, and Sikh-Americans, condemn 
     acts of violence and prejudice: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
       (1) is concerned by the number of bias-motivated crimes 
     against Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, South Asian-
     Americans, and Sikh-Americans, and other Americans in recent 
     months;
       (2) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of 
     all Americans, including Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, 
     South Asian-Americans, and Sikh-Americans, should be 
     protected;
       (3) condemns bigotry and acts of violence against any 
     American, including Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, South 
     Asian-Americans, and Sikh-Americans;
       (4) calls upon local, State, and Federal law enforcement 
     authorities to work to prevent bias-motivated crimes against 
     all Americans, including Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, 
     South Asian-Americans, and Sikh-Americans; and
       (5) calls upon local, State, and Federal law enforcement 
     authorities to investigate and prosecute vigorously all such 
     crimes committed against Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, 
     South Asian-Americans, and Sikh-Americans.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) and the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Eddie 
Bernice Johnson) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. 
Sensenbrenner).


                             General Leave

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend 
their remarks and include extraneous material on H. Res. 234.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Wisconsin?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, introduced by the gentleman from California (Mr. Issa), 
House Resolution 234 condemns bigotry and violence against individuals 
of Arab, Muslim, South Asian and Sikh-Americans dissent. It was 
introduced in response to concerns about an increase in discriminatory 
backlash crimes following the commencement of military action in Iraq 
in March 2003. Specifically, House Resolution 234 recognizes the many 
contributions of Arab-, Muslim-, South Asian-, and Sikh-Americans to 
our culture and society, calls upon law enforcement authorities to work 
to vigorously prevent, investigate and prosecute discriminatory 
backlash crimes, and reaffirms the House of Representatives' commitment 
to assuring that the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans 
are protected.
  The weeks and months following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 
2001, saw a significant increase in the number of crimes committed 
against those perceived to be of Arab- Muslim-, South Asian-, and Sikh-
American dessent. Take, for example, the FBI's hate crime statistics 
for 2001. According to this report, the number of anti-Islamic 
incidents grew 1,600 percent between 2000 and 2001 taking such 
incidents from the second-least reported category of reported 
religious-bias incidents in 2000 of the second-highest reported 
category of religious-bias incidents in 2001.
  The oversight work of the Subcommittee on the Constitution has 
revealed a significant effort on the part of the Department of Justice 
to address this alarming increase in discriminatory backlash crimes. 
Shortly after the September 2001 terrorist attacks, former Assistant 
Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Ralph Boyd, instructed 
the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division's National Origin 
Working Group to help combat violations of federal civil rights laws 
involving individuals perceived to be of Arab-, Muslim-, South Asian-, 
or Sikh-American origin.
  Specifically, the Working Group now receives reports of violations 
based upon national origin, citizenship status, and religion; conducts 
outreach to vulnerable communities; and works with other Civil Rights 
Division components and governmental agencies to ensure accurate 
referral, effective outreach, and provision of services to victims of 
civil rights violations.
  In addition, the Civil Rights Division continues to spearhead the 
criminal investigations and prosecutions of hundreds of backlash 
crimes. In April, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that 
approximately 400 incidents of backlash discrimination have been 
investigated since September 2001 by the Civil Rights Division, the FBI 
and the U.S. Attorneys' Offices. Of these investigations, approximately 
70 State and local criminal prosecutions were initiated and Federal 
charges were brought in ten cases. It is my hope that the Civil Rights 
Division continues to vigilantly investigate and prosecute those 
crimes.
  Similar to House Concurrent Resolution 227, which was approved by the 
House just days after the terrorist attacks of 2001, House Resolution 
234 will again express this body's appreciation for the contributions 
of Arab-, Mus-
lim-, South Asian-, and Sikh-Americans to the Nation and condemnation 
of all actions of bigotry and violence towards such individuals. I 
applaud the gentleman from California (Mr. Issa) for his leadership on 
this issue and urge my colleagues to strongly support this resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 234. H. Res. 234 condemns 
bigotry and violence against Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, South 
Asian-Americans and Sikh-Americans, and I urge all of my colleagues to 
support it.
  This resolution condemns bigotry and violence against individuals of 
Arab-American, Muslim-American, South Asian-American, and Sikh-American 
dissent. It was introduced in response to concerns about an increase in 
discriminatory backlash crimes following the commencement of military 
action in Iraq in March of 2003. Specifically, House Resolution 234 
recognizes the many contributions of Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, 
South Asian-Americans, and Sikh-Americans to the Nation and calls upon 
law enforcement authorities to work vigorously to prevent 
discriminatory backlash crimes against such persons and to investigate 
such crimes that do occur and reaffirms the House of Representative's 
commitment to assuring that civil rights of all Americans, including 
individuals of Arab-American, Muslim-American, South Asian-American, 
and Sikh-American dissent, be protected.
  In the weeks and months following the terrorist attacks of September 
11, 2001, this Nation saw a significant increase in the number of 
crimes committed against those perceived to be Arab-Americans, Muslim-
American,

[[Page H9224]]

South Asian-American, and Sikh-American descent.
  According to hate crimes statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, criminal acts motivated by bias against ethnicity/
national origin were the second-most frequently reported bias in 2001, 
more than doubling the number of incidents, offenses, victims and known 
offenders from 2000 data and the anti-other ethnicity/national origin 
category quadrupled in incidents, offenses, victims, and known 
offenders.
  Similarly, the number of anti-Islamic incidents grew 1,600 percent 
between the year 2000 and 2001, taking such incidents from the second-
least reported category of reported religious-bias incidents in 2000 to 
the second-highest category of religious-bias in 2001.
  Mr. Speaker, there can be no room for hatred and bigotry in America. 
Our history has taught us that when we rise above such hatred, we are 
stronger as a Nation. Too often in our history, fear and panic have 
resulted in discrimination and even oppression by our government of 
groups perceived to be a threat. Invariably, when things calm down and 
cooler heads prevail, there is a great sense of national shame at the 
injustices perpetuated against innocent people whose only crime was 
their race, religion, national origin or ethnicity.
  It is important that this House go on record as condemning these 
reprehensible acts which betray what is best about our Nation. We are a 
diverse Nation, and we are the stronger for it. We are we cannot permit 
blind hatred to destroy that.
  In addition to this resolution, I would hope that this House will 
also turn its attention to the extent to which the government has 
assaulted the rights of innocent individuals simply because of their 
race, religion or national origin. In addition to the hate crimes 
perpetuated by individuals, we must be vigilant that the power of 
government not be abused and that people not be targeted by law 
enforcement even if they have done nothing wrong.
  The right to live free from violence and discrimination is a 
fundamental right of all Americans. So long as one American is denied 
that right, no one can truly be free. I urges all my colleagues to 
support this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1430

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from South Carolina (Mr. Wilson).
  Mr. WILSON of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I am honored to join my 
good friend and colleague, the gentleman from California (Mr. Issa), to 
sponsor this important resolution in condemning violence against South 
Asians in America.
  As the Republican co-chair of the caucus on India and Indian 
Americans, I am very concerned about the weekly occurrences of violence 
committed against Indian Americans, especially Sikhs. Every week in 
national newspapers like India Abroad and News India-Times, I read 
reports of violence and even homicides committed against Indian 
Americans working in gas stations, convenience stores, food delivery 
positions, or driving taxis. I am concerned some of these attacks are 
motivated by ignorance and fear. These hardworking citizens perform 
some of the most thankless jobs in America. They are also vulnerable to 
physical harm due to their solitary conditions and late work hours.
  There can be no justification for attacking a fellow American simply 
because of their skin color or religion. Americans understand we feel 
anger toward the terrorists who murdered our countrymen on September 
11. However, we must not rush to judgment and display prejudice or bias 
against those Americans of South Asian descent, people who are just as 
angered about the attack on our country and just as eager to defeat 
terrorism. We must rally together as a Nation to prevent bias-motivated 
crimes against Indian Americans.
  Schools must continue to educate student bodies so that harassment 
and violence against Sikh boys no longer occur. Further, we must 
vigorously prosecute these crimes when they do happen.
  I want to commend Attorney General John Ashcroft because he is taking 
the necessary steps to aggressively root out those who seek to harm 
this Nation, yet maintain the civil rights of those citizens who are 
here legally and abide by our laws.
  I want to again thank the gentleman from California (Mr. Issa) for 
his leadership in introducing this important resolution, and I urge my 
colleagues to vote in favor of it.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to 
the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone).
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 234, a 
resolution to condemn bigotry and violence against many vital ethnic 
communities in the United States; and I want to say, unfortunately, 
many individuals including South Asian Americans, Arab Americans, Sikh 
Americans, and Muslim Americans have been targets of hate crimes for 
decades, being subject to assault, verbal slurs and property damage; 
but since the 9/11 attacks, there has been a significant backlash 
against men and women from all of these communities.
  In my own district in New Jersey, I represent a number of Indian 
Americans, both Hindu, Muslim and Sikh, who have been targets of 
violence and discrimination. To my knowledge, eating establishments and 
places of worship have been damaged and vandalized as a result of 
systematic bigotry and racism. Moreover, South Asian Americans are 
specifically being targeted with violence because in the minds of some 
they had been inaccurately associated with those responsible for the 9/
11 attacks.
  Mr. Speaker, I wanted to mention specifically the Sikh American 
community because at several forums that I held after 9/11 two years 
ago, they in particular came to the forums. I remember one specifically 
at Rutgers University in my district where many of them had talked 
personally about the problems that they had. The Sikhs, as many of my 
colleagues know, wear the turbans usually, and they also carry a 
symbolic, although it is not a real knife, a symbolic sort of something 
that looks like a knife; and they in particular I know have been the 
subject of many of these attacks. We need to be very clear about the 
fact that the Sikh American community in no way was responsible for 
anything related to 9/11.
  In addition to that, I know that the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. 
Holt) and I at the time of 9/11 two years ago, just a few days later, 
there was one of our constituents from Milltown, I represented Milltown 
at the time. My colleague represents Milltown now, but we had one of 
the most reprehensible of these attacks that was perpetrated on Waqar 
Hasan, a resident of Milltown who had recently moved to Texas. This was 
only 4 days after 9/11 on September 15. He was shot to death in his 
Texas grocery store in the most extreme form of misplaced revenge since 
the 9/11 tragedy.
  Mr. Hasan, his wife and four daughters are Muslims who emigrated to 
the United States in 1990, full of the hope and excitement that many 
new immigrants feel as they begin their lives afresh in America as 
Americans. But that happiness was cut short not by terrorists a million 
miles away but by a fellow American who felt justified in taking the 
life of an innocent man and destroying the lives of a wife and four 
children out of bigotry and hatred.
  This spate of attacks on innocent Americans like Mr. Hasan around the 
country is a reprehensible reaction to a tragedy that befell all of 
America on 9/11, and they must not be tolerated.
  Let me just say, Mr. Speaker, I support this resolution. It condemns 
such acts of hatred against innocent individuals. I also believe that 
Congress must support the enforcement of hate crime laws, provide 
support and protection to targeted ethnic communities, and reject 
policies that are inherently biased against South Asian Americans and 
Arab Americans.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. LaHood).
  Mr. LaHOOD. Mr. Speaker, I stand in support of this resolution and 
congratulate the gentleman from California (Mr. Issa), who could not be 
here this afternoon for consideration of the resolution. I know it was 
his idea to have this resolution offered. As someone who represents a 
district with a

[[Page H9225]]

large Arab American population, I can tell my colleagues that they 
contribute mightily to our community in so many different ways.
  My grandparents came to Peoria, Illinois, in 1895 from a region of 
Lebanon and settled in Peoria; and as a result of their being the first 
Lebanese Americans to settle in our neck of the woods, they were able 
to persuade others to come over. In those days, I am sure they were not 
known as Arab Americans. They were known as immigrants who came to 
America seeking the American Dream, and I think that has been true for 
decades of Arab Americans who have come to this country and contributed 
an awful lot to our society and contributed a lot to the growth of our 
country and the stability of our country.
  It was not till 9/11, I think, until maybe people had a different 
point of view about Arab Americans and also perhaps Muslims; but these 
people have contributed so much, and I think it is important for 
Congress to speak out in a way that says that these folks are good 
Americans, they are good citizens. They contribute a great deal to our 
country.
  I might make note, too, of the fact that there are Arab Americans 
serving in this body, including the gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. 
Rahall), the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. John), John Sununu who once 
served in the House and now is in the other body, and of course, the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Issa), and also in the administration 
Spencer Abraham who was also a member of the other body. So not only 
have Arab Americans contributed a great deal to the country and to the 
greatness of this country but have contributed also to the great body 
that we call the House of Representatives and to the other body.
  So I think it is worth noting the contribution of Arab Americans and 
the fact that 9/11 has made a little different way of life for them and 
that Congress recognizes their contribution; and I appreciate the fact 
that this resolution recognizes that and appreciate the fact that the 
chairman has allowed me to recognize their contributions.
  I thank the chairman for his indulgence.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to 
the gentleman from New York (Mr. Crowley).
  Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Texas for 
yielding me this time.
  I rise today to speak in strong support of this resolution. We have 
all seen the rise in violence against our fellow Americans, whether 
they are of Arab, Muslim, South Asian or Sikh descent, since the 
September 11 attack upon our Nation. Our Nation must not allow these 
attacks to continue. We need to work together to ensure that these 
types of crimes no longer occur.
  A family in my district in Queens fell victim to a hate crime of this 
nature in August of this year. The Singh family, a proud Sikh American 
family of Woodside, Queens, my hometown, was attacked simply because of 
the way they looked. I am proud that the neighbors of the Singh family 
called the police when this hate crime was occurring and even came to 
their assistance during the attacks. That is the neighborhood of 
Woodside that I know and love.
  A strong community is what it will take to stop these horrendous 
crimes from occurring in the future. It is hard for all of us to 
understand how people have so much hate in them, and we need to all 
work together to ensure that hate crimes stop. Whether they are against 
Sikhs, Blacks, Muslims, Jews or gays, hate crimes need to be stopped.
  The best way, I believe, to stop hate crimes is through education. By 
bringing this problem out in the open, we can start to solve it by 
educating our population.
  During July, I held a congressional briefing as the co-chair of the 
Caucus on India and Indian American Affairs about the rise of hate 
crimes against the South Asian population here in the United States. A 
representative of Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force, also known 
as SMART, attended this briefing and spoke with Members of the Congress 
on the importance of educating people so they understand the culture 
and will be less likely to participate in hate crimes. I commend 
SMART's efforts to work not only within the Sikh community but with all 
communities affected by hate crimes. We all must work together to 
ensure that these types of crimes no longer occur.
  I urge all of my colleagues to support this important resolution.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to 
the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt).
  Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Texas for the time.
  I rise today to voice my strong support to House Resolution 234, 
introduced in a bipartisan way by the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Issa) and the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur). House Resolution 234 
condemns bigotry and violence against Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, 
South Asian Americans, and Sikh Americans at a time when Americans in 
these communities are facing unprecedented levels of discrimination and 
abuse.
  We cannot stand by and allow the ignorance of a few to overcome the 
tradition of tolerance in this Nation of Nations. I urge my colleagues 
to vote unanimously for this important resolution and, in so doing, 
send a clear and bipartisan message to all Americans that Congress will 
not accept, condone, or ignore acts of hatred.
  Although the tragic events of September 11, 2001, united most 
Americans, some misguided individuals in our society have taken their 
anger and directed it at their neighbors because they look different or 
subscribe to a different religion.
  We Americans have struggled throughout our history to purge ourselves 
of crippling stereotypes that spread a cloud of ignorance and despair 
on our otherwise great society. Members of this Congress and of the 
larger American community fought valiantly in the 1960s to end legal 
racial discrimination against African Americans. We have come a long 
way since the days of sanctioned racism, but we still have miles to go 
to eradicate the vestiges of bigotry that from time to time consume the 
ignorant among us.
  In my home State of New Jersey, many of my constituents of Asian 
descent, many of Muslim religion or Sikh religion have suffered acts of 
violence simply due to their religion or the color of their skin. One 
of the most tragic cases involved the murder 4 days after September 11, 
2001, of Waqar Hasan who was shot to death in his convenience store by 
a man who said he did it to retaliate against ``Arab Americans or 
whatever you want to call them.'' Hasan was a Pakistani immigrant who 
was murdered for no other reason than that he was a Muslim with a 
Middle Eastern face.
  When Mr. Hasan was murdered, the visas and applications for permanent 
residency of his wife and four daughters died with him. After building 
lives in America for 9 years, the Hasan family has gone from being one 
step away from permanent residency to one step away from deportation.
  Earlier this year, I introduced legislation, H.R. 867, to prevent the 
deportation of Waqar's wife and four daughters, who without this would 
be forced to leave America. I have been working closely with my 
colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and I am grateful to the 
chairman and ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary and its 
Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for their 
bipartisan support of the Hasan family. I look forward to continue to 
work with them in the coming weeks to pass H.R. 867.
  Today, Congress can take a step to help the Hasan family and 
immigrant families like them and any other families who are victims of 
racism and bigotry by passing House Resolution 234. We will be making a 
promise to the American people and all who seek a new life of 
opportunity on our shores that here in America we treat each other with 
dignity and respect.
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, South 
Asian-Americans and Sikh-Americans are a vital part of America. These 
communities join other ethnic and religious groups as they and their 
ancestors came to this nation in search of political freedom and 
economic opportunity. They have flourished in this nation and have made 
great contributions to our society. They have joined the ranks of 
service-members, law enforcement officers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, 
and business people. They also hold positions of

[[Page H9226]]

leadership in this society, including members of Congress and Cabinet 
members.
  But, tragically in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist 
attacks, some bigots turned against Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, 
Sikh-Americans, and South Asian-Americans, and singled them out as 
targets for violence and threats of violence. Hate crimes against these 
communities, including violent physical assaults, increased sharply. 
The FBI reported that the number of anti-Muslim incidents increased by 
1600 percent from 2001 to 2002, largely in response to this post 9/11 
backlash. Obviously this kind of increase has only added evermore to 
the awesome responsibilities facing law enforcement offices. Therefore, 
it is unfortunate that their resources must be directed to the 
unreasonable few rotten applies that take out their vengeance on the 
unsuspecting innocent.
  Most Americans all over responded and came to the support of Arab-
Americans, Muslim-Americans, Sikh-Americans, and South Asian-Americans, 
condemning the attacks and embracing these communities. A resolution at 
that time, which I cosponsored, was passed that condemned violence 
against these groups.
  But, now again Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, Sikh-Americans, and 
South Asian-Americans are suffering, and it is again time to express 
support for them. Since the time when the war in Iraq began, hate 
crimes have seen another hike. There was a man who law enforcement 
believes was motivated by anti-Arab sentiment, when he allegedly shot 
four people to death in New York City during February and March. Even 
after President Bush declared that major combat operations had ended, 
the hate crimes against Arab, Muslim, South Asian and Sikh-Americans 
have continued.
  These crimes are wrong and are opposed to the values of American 
society. We must condemn them in the most serious and strongest terms, 
and law enforcement must investigate and vigorously prosecute the 
perpetrators.
  By the same token, we must pay close attention to the concerns of 
Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, Sikh-Americans and South Asian-
Americans, that the federal government views them with suspicion, and 
they are being subjected to grossly heightened levels of surveillance 
as a result of their national or religious origins. Counter-terrorism 
efforts must not discriminate on the basis of national origin or 
religion or violate the civil liberties of innocent Americans. The 
government's efforts to combat terrorism must focus on criminal or 
terrorist behavior, not ethnicity or creed.
  Discriminatory counter-terrorism tactics and those that violate civil 
liberties are wrong and do not make the country safer. We must look to 
history, which has shown us that respect for individual rights enhances 
our stability and security. Singling out mostly innocent Arab, Muslim, 
South Asian and Sikh Americans runs counter to the principle of 
rejecting the use of racial and ethnic profiling, while we need to 
focus on building trust and respect by working cooperatively with 
community members.
  The resolution before us today, H. Res. 234, recognizes that Arab-
Americans, Muslim-Americans, Sikh-Americans, and South Asian-Americans 
greatly contribute to American society and serve honorably in the 
military or law enforcement and it urges respect for civil rights and 
liberties, condemns bias-motivated crimes against members of these 
communities, and calls upon federal and local law enforcement to 
prosecute such crimes vigorously. I strongly urge all of my colleagues 
to support it.
  Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, I rise to today in support of H. Res. 234--
legislation condemning bigotry and violence against Arab-Americans, 
Muslim-Americans, South Asian-Americans, and Sikh-Americans. I am proud 
to be a cosponsor of this important legislation.
  After the tragic events of September 11th, the Muslim community 
became the target of a major upsurge in hate crimes and discrimination. 
In just the first nine weeks after the attacks, over 700 violent 
incidents occurred targeting Arab Americans, Muslims, and others 
perceived to be such. These same citizens faced a four-fold increase in 
employment discrimination.
  Crimes and incidents driven by bias and hatred must not be tolerated 
in a peaceful democracy. Our position of power and influence also 
brings a responsibility to celebrate our diversity and protect the 
rights of all in our nation.
  As we continue to fight a war against terrorism and hatred, we have a 
golden opportunity to show the world that we celebrate our diversity; 
that every American citizen and everyone who visits here will not be in 
danger because of their national origin or religious faith; that we 
will not stand for bigotry and other divisive actions; that we are a 
Nation united as one.
  Mr. Speaker, this important legislation received unanimous support 
from the Judiciary Committee, on which I sit, and I urge my colleagues 
to overwhelmingly support its passage by the full House.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 
234 concerning the condemnation of bigotry and violence against Arab, 
Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh-Americans. As a co-sponsor of this 
resolution, I won't hesitate to vocalize my support for it and echo its 
import.


                     Racial Profiling and Terrorism

  The events of September 11, 2001 have had a profound impact on racial 
profiling. Following the terrorist attacks, law enforcement agents have 
subjected individuals of Arab or South Asian descent, Muslims, and 
Sikhs to racial profiling. While national and local statistics are not 
yet available, anecdotal accounts of how Arabs, Muslims, and Sikhs have 
endured racial profiling abound the informational resources.
  For example, in the months following September 11th, a new type of 
racial profiling has developed: ``driving while Arab.'' Arabs, Muslim, 
and Sikhs across the country were subjected to traffic stops and 
searches based in whole or part on their ethnicity or religion. On 
October 4, 2001 in Gwinnett, Georgia an Arab motorist's car was 
stopped, he was approached by a police officer whose gun was drawn, and 
he was called a ``bin Laden supporter'' all for making an illegal U-
turn. On October 8, 2001, two Alexandria, VA police officers stopped 
three Arab motorists. The officers questioned the motorists about a 
verse of the Koran hanging from the rear view mirror, and asked about 
documents in the back seat. The police officer confiscated the 
motorists' identification cards and drove off without explanation. He 
returned 10 minutes later, and claimed he had had to take another call. 
On December 5, 2001, a veiled Muslim woman in Burbank, Illinois was 
stopped by a police officer for driving with suspended plates. The 
officer asked the woman when Ramadan was over, asked her offensive 
question about her hair, and pushed her into his patrol car as he 
arrested her for driving with suspended plates. The woman was released 
from custody later that day.
  A particularly egregious form of terrorism profiling occurs when Arab 
men and women are detained and deported without due process. Since 
September 11th, hundreds of Arab and Muslim individuals have been 
detained on suspicion of terrorist activity. Practically none of these 
individuals was involved with terrorism. However, many were detained 
for weeks and eventually charged with minor immigration violations. 
Based on these minor immigration violations some were deported. In one 
case, two Pakistani immigrants were arrested and detained 45 days for 
allegedly overstaying their visas. In another case an Israeli was 
detained for 66 days before being charged with entering the 
United States unlawfully. In a particularly shocking case, a French 
teacher from Yemen, who was married to an American citizen and 
therefore eligible to become a citizen himself, was reporting for duty 
as an army recruit at Fort Campbell, Kentucky on September 15, 2001. 
The man was apprehended by federal agents, separated from his wife and 
interrogated for 12 hours. The agents accused him of violating 
immigration laws, conspiring with Russian terrorists, spousal abuse, 
and threatened him with beatings. The man was given a lie detector test 
which proved he was telling the truth when he denied being associated 
with terrorists.

  Expounding upon the above issue is a trend of ethnic profiling 
against South Asian-Americans relative to the SARS pandemic. People 
have been treated with indifference and hostility because of their 
racial background. This treatment is simply founded upon ignorance. 
Human rights and the principles of due process, freedom of expression, 
and freedom of association should not be compromised by ignorance.


                  The Consequences of Racial Profiling

  The consequences of racial profiling for minority groups in the 
United States, for Arab, Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh groups, and in 
the immigrations context are dire for individuals who are both innocent 
and guilty of criminal activity. In the case of the innocent, for every 
person in possession of drugs apprehended through profiling, many more 
law-abiding minorities are treated as if they are criminals. A 1999 
Gallup Poll revealed that 42 percent of African Americans, and 72 
percent of African American males between the ages of 18 and 34, 
believe they have been stopped by police because of their race. In 
fact, many minorities choose to drive certain cars, on certain routes, 
wearing certain clothes, to avoid drawing attention from police.
  For those individuals who have been convicted of felonies, racial 
profiling contributes to the disparity in arrest and crime rates that 
leads to the minority-majority prison population. Blacks are just 12 
percent of the U.S. population and 11 percent of drug users, but Blacks 
are 38 percent of those arrested for drug offenses and 59 percent of 
those convicted for drug offenses. Hispanics make up 13 percent of the 
population and 10 percent of illicit drug users, but they are 37 
percent of the overall prison population. Racial profiling increases 
the stops and arrests of minority

[[Page H9227]]

groups. Frequent stops and arrests of minorities generate more 
extensive criminal histories, and result in longer sentences. Nearly 
one in three Black males aged 20-29 on any given day is either in 
prison, on probation, or on parole. As of 1995, one in 14 adult Black 
males was in prison or jail on any given day. A Black male born in 1991 
has a 33 percent chance of spending part of his life in prison. A 
Hispanic male has a one in six chance.
  Racial profiling results in increased arrests and convictions of 
minorities. In many States, a felony conviction can impact a person's 
ability to exercise their basic social rights. In 46 States and the 
District of Columbia, convicted adults cannot vote. Thirty-two States 
disenfranchise felons on parole, while 29 States disenfranchise felons 
on probation. In part due to racial profiling, 1.4 million Black men, 
13 percent of all adult Black males, are denied the right to vote. In 
two States, 31 percent of all adult Black males are permanently 
disenfranchised.
  For the reasons stated above, Mr. Speaker and Ranking Member, I 
support the Resolution condemning bigotry and violence against Arab, 
Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh-Americans that I have co-sponsored. I 
would ask that my Colleagues join my fellow sponsors in fighting 
bigotry with H. Res. 234.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, There is no room for bias-motivated or hate 
crimes against fellow Americans. As America fights to defend the values 
of tolerance and freedom abroad, we must also work vigorously to ensure 
these values are protected at home.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 256, condemning bigotry and 
violence against Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, South Asian 
Americans and Sikh Americans.
  I want to thank Congressman Issa, along with Congressman LaHood, 
Congressman Conyers, Congressman Dingell, Congressman Rahall and 
Congressman Honda for their help on this legislation, along with 
approximately 50 other colleagues--from both sides of the aisle and all 
parts of the country--who co-sponsored this measure.
  The resolution is straightforward. It acknowledges the contributions 
to our Nation that have been made by Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, 
South Asian Americans, and Sikh Americans.
  This measure notes that members of these groups have served honorably 
in our military and in law enforcement, working every day to protect 
the American people.
  The measure also affirms that we as a Congress are concerned by the 
incidents of bias-motivated crimes against Muslim Americans, Sikh 
Americans, Arab Americans and South Asian Americans.
  And we condemn any acts of bigotry or violence directed against 
Americans of these groups.
  We call upon law enforcement officials throughout America to 
investigate thoroughly and prosecute vigorously any crimes committed 
against Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, Sikh Americans or South Asian 
Americans.
  There is a place in America for people of all races, creeds and 
colors.
  There is no place in America for bigotry, prejudice and violence.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my support for H. Res. 
234. I am delighted to have had the honor of authoring this resolution 
with my friend and colleague, the gentlelady from Ohio, Marcy Kaptur. I 
also am grateful to the gentleman from Wisconsin, Chairman Jim 
Sensenbrenner, for his fine work in moving this bill through his 
Committee to the House floor.
  I am pleased to be joined by over 52 Members who co-sponsored this 
resolution. Twenty other Members have also expressed their strong 
support for the resolution since it passed out of the Judiciary 
Committee on the 25th of July. Alcee Hastings, Jan Schakowsky, Bob 
Filner, Martin Sabo, Maurice Hinchey, Denise Majette, Chris Shays, Neil 
Abercrombie, Lee Terry, Henry Waxman, John Olver, Judy Biggert, Rod 
Kind, Lloyd Doggett, Ciro Rodriguez, Bill Pascrell, and Robert Matsui 
have all told me that they would like to be formally recognized for 
their support of this resolution. I thank them for their support.
  This is an important moment for Arab-American, Muslim American, Sikh-
American, and South Asian American communities throughout the United 
States. These communities have experienced increased levels of bigotry 
and violence since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
  In the first nine weeks following the September 11 tragedy, there 
were about 700 violent incidents directed at Arab-Americans or those 
perceived to be Arab-Americans, like Sikh Americans and South Asian 
Americans. Fortunately, this rate dropped very quickly after those 
first nine weeks, thanks in large part to President Bush's repeated 
calls for tolerance.
  The President's leadership on this issue prompted thousands of state 
and local officials, community leaders, and private citizens across the 
country to reach out to these minority groups with voices of compassion 
and support. I am delighted that Congress can now formally join them in 
standing by our fellow Americans who have unfairly had to live a cloud 
of suspicion.
  Arab-Americans, Muslim Americans, Sikh Americans and South Asian 
Americans have all contributed greatly to this nation. Many serve in 
elected office, law enforcement agencies, or the military. The 
Commanding General of CENTCOM, John Abizaid, is an American of Arab 
ancestry. These men and women are part of the kaleidoscope of cultures 
that makes up this country. While they come from many diverse 
backgrounds, all of them traveled to America for one main reason: to 
taste freedom. We treat them as brothers and sisters because they share 
our desire to live in a nation that is tolerant, just, and free.
  Again, thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your fine work on this effort.
  Mr. WU. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Res. 234, a bill 
condemning bigotry and violence against Arab-Americans, Muslim-
Americans, South Asian-Americans and Sikh-Americans.
  More than 2 years after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the 
backlash of vandalism, harassment and violence perpetrated against 
members of these peaceful communities continues. This treatment is the 
result of misguided fear and resentment, and it is unconscionable.
  This legislation before the House sends an unequivocal message that 
the United States does not condone prejudice or violence. It also 
encourages victims of hate crimes to step forward and report the 
incidents that affect them so that we can prosecute the perpetrators of 
these inexcusable acts.
  Unfortunately, the fear of retaliation often prevents victims from 
reporting hate crimes. For example, the National Asian Pacific American 
Legal Consortium has uncovered the case of an Islamic South Asian 
family in Southern California that received threatening phone calls and 
accusations of being terrorists after the September 11th attacks. One 
day the family returned home to find that their house had been burned 
down, but they did not report the arson to the police for fear of 
further backlash.
  We in Congress have the responsibility to protect hate crime victims 
and to do everything in our power to prevent hate crimes in the future.
  Mr. Speaker, America draws its strength from its tremendous 
diversity. In order to remain strong and united, we must work to 
eliminate hate crimes and replace suspicion with understanding so that 
all Americans can live without fear.
  I urge my colleagues in Congress to join me in working to promote 
domestic peace and cultural understanding by supporting H. Res. 234.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 
234, a resolution that calls for the condemnation of prejudice and 
violence against Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, South Asian-
Americans, and Sikh-Americans, and which recognizes the contributions 
that these groups have made to American society. The resolution also 
calls upon Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies to work to 
prevent bias-motivated crimes and to investigate and prosecute such 
crimes vigorously.
  Shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, I introduced a 
similar resolution with Congressman David Bonior. H. Con. Res. 227 
condemned bigotry and violence against Arab-Americans, Muslim-
Americans, and South Asian-Americans, and declared that the civil 
liberties of these and all other Americans should be protected during 
our efforts to bring the perpetrators and sponsors of the terrorist 
acts to justice.
  I commend Representative Darrell Issa for introducing H. Res. 234. 
This resolution sends a strong and clear message that we will not 
condone prejudiced and violent crimes against any Americans. We must 
remember that many individuals in the Arab, Muslim, South Asian and 
Sikh-American communities came to the United States seeking freedom and 
democracy, and they fled oppressive regimes that lack freedom of speech 
and religion and in some cases support terrorism. I am pleased that the 
House of Representatives is once again taking a firm stand on this 
issue, which is so important to all Americans.
  I strongly support H. Res. 234 and encourage my colleagues in the 
House to vote in favor of this important resolution.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I have no requests 
for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time 
as well.

                              {time}  1445

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hefley). The question is on the motion

[[Page H9228]]

offered by the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) that the 
House suspend the rules and agree to the resolution, H. Res. 234.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor 
thereof) the rules were suspended and the resolution was agreed to.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________





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