March 2, 2017

Heinrich calls for more protection of faith-based community centers

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich. Official photo.

Two U.S. Senators, including one from New Mexico, want a Senate committee to address the high number of threats and attacks across the country against community centers, namely Jewish Community Centers.

New Mexico U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, along with Republican U.S. Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada wrote a letter requesting a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing about  the high number of bomb threats aimed at religious community centers across the country.

“In the first two months of 2017, 100 bomb threats have already occurred, including two in Albuquerque and one in Las Vegas, and have forced the evacuations of hundreds across the country,” the senators wrote.

Related: ABQ Jewish Community Center one of over a dozen targeted with bomb threat and ABQ Jewish Community Center again part of wave of bomb threats

The two senators also urged the committee to help move forward a bill they are cosponsing to allocate more money to the Department of Homeland Security, specifically to  protect faith-based community centers.

“Faith-based community centers should be sanctuaries and open, inviting places for our citizens, and no American should feel unsafe at these centers,” their letter read.

The Jewish Community Center in Albuquerque has twice been the target of bomb threats this year.