Congressman from New Jersey wants legislation to fight white supremacist terror

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A Democratic congressman from New Jersey say that he is ready to lead a bipartisan effort to fight white supremacist terror.

The FBI reports that a majority of domestic terrorism suspects this year were motivated by white supremacy. This includes a recent mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Rep. Tom Malinowski says that he sees a rising danger from white supremacist violence in the country and those who are hateful toward immigrants.

“I'm an immigrant who doesn't look like what these racists are afraid of. And yet I'm more of an immigrant than some of the people they're targeting who were born right here in the United States of America,” says Malinowski who was born in Poland.

The congressman says that white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups are, “The No. 1 threat to the physical security of Jewish Americans, Hispanic Americans, Muslim Americans - basically any American who looks like they may not have come here on the Mayflower.”

Even New Jersey has seen instances of bias crimes and white supremacy propaganda in recent months.

RELATED: Stickers from white supremacy group found in Bordentown City 
RELATED: $5K reward offered in Lakewood tire slashing labeled bias incident 

In Bordertown City, the mayor says that stickers from the group New Jersey European Heritage Association have been found in town. The group states that the “European race is in a struggle for survival.”

In Lakewood, dozens of vehicles belonging to Jewish residents had tires damaged. Police are treating it as a bias crime.

Malinowski says that he contributes some of the problems to government inaction and the rhetoric of President Donald Trump.

“Obviously there was racism in this country before President Trump. But he decided it was in his interest as a politician to try to stoke it. And then to exploit it,” the congressman says.

Malinowski will introduce a measure next month to fund Homeland Security and State Department programs committed to combating violent extremism, which were cut by the Trump administration. He says that he is also open to designating domestic hate groups in the United States as terrorist organizations. But he says that he realizes that this could be a slippery slope.

“I think we need to define it very, very narrowly…In the past we have sometimes swung the pendulum too far in the direction of violating people's civil liberties. Right now…there's nothing,” he says. “There are neo-Nazi groups that are out there radicalizing people in the United States to murder our fellow Americans and there's nothing we can do about it.”

Sen. Martha McSally of Rhode Island has proposed a law that would make domestic terrorism a federal crime. Malinowski says he is reviewing the legislation and has not ruled out supporting it.

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