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Pascrell, Murphy, Jeh Johnson Discuss Methods to Stop Growing Threat of Domestic Extremism

Input from community leaders, including religious officials and law enforcement, bolstered wide-ranging conversation on public safety

Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Governor Phil Murphy, and former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson held a roundtable discussion in Garfield, New Jersey, with local law enforcement, elected officials, and religious leaders on the rise of domestic extremism and efforts to combat it.

“Let’s not mince words: Right-wing domestic extremism is on the rise and needs more attention,” said Rep. Pascrell, a former original member of the House Homeland Security Committee. “It is a primary threat to our every-day security and all levels of government must be united to defeat it. I want to commend Governor Phil Murphy and Director Jared Maples for their work to stomp out extremism here in New Jersey, as well as Secretary Jeh Johnson for his continued post-government advocacy. I also want to thank the clergy leaders, men and women in uniform, and elected officials who helped bolster today’s extremely important conversation. There is no cure-all here and defeating this scourge will require the entire village. I was filled with hope to see that village out in numbers today.”

“Those who seek to divide us and threaten our safety with terrorism will be held accountable for their heinous actions,” said Governor Murphy. “With a whole-of-government approach, we will continue our efforts to ensure all residents of our state feel safe and welcome. I applaud Congressman Pascrell for bringing us together for this critical discussion as well as Secretary Johnson for lending his expertise on this issue.”

“As Secretary I used to tell my people plan for the next terrorist attack, not the last one,” said Jeh C. Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama. “The reality is that acts of domestic terrorism now outpace acts of terrorism on the homeland inspired by foreign terrorist organizations.”

Rep. Pascrell has been the foremost advocate in Congress for greater scrutiny of right-wing extremist groups. In two recent op-eds in the Bergen Record, he excoriated elected officials who help spread extremist rhetoric and demanded congressional action on the threat of white supremacist activity. In September, Reps. Pascrell and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05) stood with state and local officials to highlight legislative efforts to combat extremism in our communities. In 2017, Pascrell highlighted how Donald Trump’s rhetoric was emboldening white supremacist terror groups. In office, Pascrell has repeatedly condemned terror attempts against minority groups and called for increased awareness of domestic terror groups. Pascrell is also a longtime supporter of the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program which provides financial support for the security of community centers and places of worship for all religious groups.

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