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OCA Supports Reintroduction of Hate Crimes Prevention Bill
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OCA Supports Reintroduction of Hate Crimes Prevention Bill

March 22, 2007

Hope Chu, Communications Manager 202-223-5500

OCA Supports Reintroduction of Hate Crimes Prevention Bill

WASHINGTON, DC - OCA, a national Asian Pacific American (APA) organization dedicated to ensuring social justice for Asian Pacific Americans, praised the reintroduction of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crime Prevention Act of 2007 (LLEHCPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"The Asian Pacific American community is encouraged that Congress is considering this bill, which would strengthen protection for people who face discrimination in this country," said Ginny Gong, National President, "If the law is passed, it will mark a major victory for the civil rights movement and a great stride forward towards a hate-free America."

"Hate crimes don't just affect individuals; they harm entire communities by increasing fear, tensions, and suspicions," said Michael Lin, Executive Director, "OCA and its members strongly encourage our representatives in Congress to pass this bill with all possible speed."

LLEHCPA would expand the scope of existing law in several ways. Firstly, the bill would increase the resources available to federal and state law enforcement officials to enforce hate crimes. Secondly, the bill would expand the classes of people protected by the law to include sexual orientation, gender, gender, identity or disability. As it is currently, federal law does not provide jurisdiction for these classes.

"Under current law, the Department of Justice is prevented from taking action in many cases where local authorities are unable or unwilling to act, or just under-funded," said Stephanie Kao, Hate Crimes Initiative Program Manager, "This law will make it possible for federal agencies to help local law enforcement prevent and prosecute hate crimes, ensuring that no more incidents fall between the cracks."

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