Costa Applauds Sikh Hate Crime Decision

Washington, DC-Rep. Jim Costa applauded the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to add Sikh to the categories they track for hate crime offenses in the United States. For more than a year, Costa has been calling for the Department to include these crimes in their annual Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. The announcement coincides with the one year anniversary of the tragedy at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, on Monday, August 5th.

“Since 9/11, the Sikh community has endured discrimination because of the lack of understanding about the positive force that Sikhism is nationwide,” said Costa. “This decision officially gives these acts the name that they deserve: hate crime.”

“We cannot undo the pain that this community has already experienced, but thisdecision honors the memory of those who lost their lives. Every American citizen regardless of race, creed, or gender has the right to live free of fear and with the guarantee of equal protection under the law.”                                                                                    

The Department of Justice also announced that they will begin tracking hate crimes against Hindu, Arab, Buddhist, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness and Orthodox Christian individuals. This information helps the Department to better enforce the law and offer critical protections to all who live in this country.