A bipartisan group of 17 senators asked Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderFormer AG launches redistricting effort to help Dems reclaim power The racism inquisition over Jeff Sessions Dem rep to Obama: Don’t ‘lay back’ after presidency MORE on Thursday to begin tracking hate crimes against Sikh-Americans in the wake of this month's attack in Wisconsin that killed six and wounded four people at a Sikh temple.
Their letter to Holder argued that while the Hate Crime Statistics Act requires the Justice Department to track religious crimes against people of other religions on incident report forms, it does not require any tracking of crimes against Sikhs.
"That form allows a law enforcement officer to denote that a crime was motivated by a bias against Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, or atheists, among others," they wrote. "The form does not allow an officer to denote that a crime was motivated by a bias against Sikhs.
The letter was signed by 15 Democrats: Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenate panel approves Mattis for Defense secretary Senate Dems urge Sessions to abstain from voting on Trump’s Cabinet picks Takata will plead guilty, pay B in faulty airbag probe MORE (D-Conn.), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerFeinstein to hold campaign fundraisers, a hint she'll run again Becerra formally nominated for Calif. attorney general 10 freshmen to watch in the new Congress MORE (D-Calif.), Chris CoonsChris CoonsTrump, Democrats can bridge divide to make college more affordable Senate Dems urge Sessions to abstain from voting on Trump’s Cabinet picks Booker to vote against Tillerson MORE (D-Del.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinTrump Treasury pick to defend foreclosure record Senate Democrats brace for Trump era Senators introduce dueling miners bills MORE (D-Ill.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinSenate seeks deal on Trump nominees Manning commutation sparks Democratic criticism Senate seeks deal on Trump nominees MORE (D-Calif.), Al FrankenAl FrankenFive takeaways from Price's confirmation hearing The Hill's 12:30 Report Live coverage: Tom Price's confirmation hearing MORE (D-Minn.), John KerryJohn KerrySnap hires Kerry aide to run global public policy operations Support for Israel is a call to conscience Kerry: Diplomacy isn't 'reducible to 140-character bites' MORE (D-Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense: Obama defends Manning commutation after backlash | Mattis clears Senate panel Senate panel approves Mattis for Defense secretary Overnight Finance: Price puts stock trading law in spotlight | Lingering questions on Trump biz plan | Sanders, Education pick tangle over college costs MORE (D-N.Y.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahySenate panel sets vote on Sessions for AG Obama admin injects another 0M into global climate fund Justice, FBI to be investigated over Clinton probes MORE (D-Vt.), Robert MenendezRobert MenendezCarson likely to roll back housing equality rule Live coverage: Tillerson's hearing for State Booker to join Foreign Relations Committee MORE (D-N.J.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerWhy Democrats fear a successful inaugural address from Trump CBO: 18 million could lose coverage after ObamaCare repeal Week ahead: Trump's health pick takes the hot seat MORE (D-N.Y.), Tom UdallTom UdallPaul, Lee call on Trump to work with Congress on foreign policy Senate takes first step toward repealing ObamaCare Tillerson discloses assets worth up to 0M MORE (D-N.M.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseFive takeaways from Pruitt's EPA hearing Health pick’s trades put STOCK Act in spotlight Dems prepare to face off with Trump's pick to lead EPA MORE (D-R.I.).
Two Republicans, Scott Brown (Mass.) and Mark KirkMark KirkGOP senator: Don't link Planned Parenthood to ObamaCare repeal Republicans add three to Banking Committee Juan Williams: McConnell won big by blocking Obama MORE (Ill.), also signed the letter.
The letter said the Aug. 5 shooting in Wisconsin is just "the latest hate crime" against Sikhs, and noted several other incidents against Sikhs over the last two years. It also noted a recent survey of more than 1,000 Sikhs in California, in which 10 percent of those surveyed reported that they have been victims of a hate crime.