Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas E. Perez has directed the Civil Rights Division’s National Origin Working Group to work proactively to combat violations of civil rights laws against Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South-Asian Americans, and those perceived to be members of these groups, through the creation of the Initiative to Combat Post-9/11 Discriminatory Backlash.
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, members of these groups, and those perceived to be members of these groups, have been the victims of increased numbers of bias-related assaults, threats, vandalism and arson. Reducing the incidence of such attacks, and ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to justice, is a Civil Rights Division priority. The Division also has placed a priority on cases involving discrimination against Arab, Sikh, Muslim, and South-Asian Americans in employment, housing, education, access to public accommodations and facilities, and other areas within the Civil Rights Division’s jurisdiction.
The Initiative is combating bias crimes and discrimination by:
Ensuring that there are efficient and accessible processes in place for individuals to report violations to the Civil Rights Division, and to make sure that these cases are handled expeditiously.
Implementing proactive measures to identify cases involving bias crimes and discrimination being prosecuted at the State level that may merit Federal action.
Conducting outreach to affected communities to provide them with information about how to file complaints and the resources available through the Department of Justice and other Federal agencies to protect their civil rights.
Working with other Department of Justice components and other government agencies to ensure accurate referral, effective outreach, and comprehensive provision of services to victims of civil rights violations.