Four members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a resolution on Friday condemning racism and xenophobia within the U.S. Government.
Democrat Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Judy Chu of California, put forward the resolution the evening before the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. (RELATED: Son Of 9/11 Victim Slams Democrats Using 9/11 As ‘Political Theater’)
We will never forget 9/11 & those we lost. Neither will we forget the heroism of those who rushed to help.
But while we must continue to stand up to terror, we must ensure that Arab, Muslim, Sikh, & S. Asian American communities are not scapegoated again just for who they are. pic.twitter.com/N8HK9mGXD7
— Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) September 11, 2021
“We must fully condemn all manifestations and expressions of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, scapegoating, and ethnic or religious bigotry … while also fully acknowledging the climate of hate that Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian and Sikh communities have experienced in the two decades since September 11, 2001,” said the Congresswomen in a combined press release.
The resolution outlines ways in which the U.S. Government can support these communities.
Recommendations include creating a task force — to review and dismantle policies that “profile and unfairly target” them — and allocating resources to organizations outside of law enforcement to support these communities.
Additionally, it calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation to study the effects of government targeting and surveillance on physical and mental health.
As a first-generation Indian immigrant, my experience on — and after — 9/11 was unique.
— Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) September 11, 2021
The Congresswomen note that “the government… targeted Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities with overreaching policing, surveillance, and criminalization policies that resulted in wrongful interrogation, coercion, detention, deportation, arrest and incarceration.”
They assert that the Federal Bureau of Investigations and immigration authorities arrested and detained almost 1,200 Muslims following the Sept. 11 attacks, but that none of them were indicted for terrorist activity.
Out of 192,499 National Security Letters (NSLs) issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigations between 2003 and 2006, only one led to a terror-related conviction, according to the ACLU.
The Department of Justice (DOJ), detained 762 individuals, following Sept. 11, 2001 in relation to the FBI’s terrorism investigation.
“Community organizations documented 645 incidents of boas and hate against Americans perceived to be of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent,” says the press release.
There is no indication whether this resolution will be brought to the floor for a vote. But it has been endorsed by organizations such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association, American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN), National Iranian American Council and the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation.