TEXT:*93071311.NEA reno on hate crimes at b'nai b'rith/#mcj yb sa kf

*NEA211   07/13/93 *


(Attorney General addresses B'nai B'rith)  (620)

By M. C. Jaspersen

USIA Staff Writer

Washington -- Unless the American people and people everywhere resolve to

fight bigotry, it could destroy the world as we know it, says U.S. Attorney

General Janet Reno.


"Each of us could make a difference in combating bigotry, in combating hate,

and each one of us must stand, any time we see it, and speak out against

it, and fight against it, or otherwise, we will see this world engulfed in

it," Reno warned here July 13.

America's highest law enforcement official was addressing the District Five

Convention of B'nai B'rith, an organization founded in New York in 1843 to

fight anti-semitism and other forms of bigotry.

Reno, who as prosecutor in Florida prosecuted hate crime under new U.S.

anti-bias laws, said she would like to see more effective hate-crimes laws

enacted. But they should not impinge on individual rights, she said.

Reno said that the time has also come to take "a hard-nosed look at what

works and what doesn't work -- what we can pay for and what we can't pay


Reno pointed out that while judges and prosecutors can successfully

prosecute and sentence a criminal to jail, serious prison overcrowding

allows many of these dangerous criminals to be set free, while first-time

drug offenders, who receive mandatory sentences, will remain in jail

instead of undergoing treatment.

"It is imperative," she said, that law officials "work together to make sure

that we prioritize the crimes in America, and that the dangerous offender

-- the offender who conveys hate, the career criminal" remains


Above all, she said, it is time to realize that behavior is shaped before

the age of three, "when a child develops a concept of reward and

punishment, and develops a conscience."  This fact, she added, makes

parents invaluable in forming the future of society.  It is essential, Reno

said, to focus on giving parents the tools and the time they need to raise

children to be responsible, caring members of society.

"The first thing that we have got to do in America, is make sure that we

have parents who are old enough, wise enough, and financially able enough

to take care of their children."  Society has to focus on the problem of

teen pregnancy as well as on developing a workplace that would allow

parents "to have quality time that they can spend with their children."

Asked about U.S. immigration problems, Reno said there is no simple solution

when the nation's borders are not easily controlled.

She said it is essential that the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization

Service become an "equal partner" with its Department of State and its

foreign intelligence services so that together they can work at stemming

illegal immigration at the source.

The United States must "deal with other nations in terms of trying to

develop some equity, so that people will not seek haven here," she said.

"I cannot tell you how important it is that we approach this issue with

calmness, with civility towards others," she said. "It is going to be

terribly important that we work through this whole problem of immigration

in a thoughtful way, (one) that considers others, respects others, but

develops laws that can keep the people here that belong here, and quickly,

constitutionally, get the people out who don't belong here, and then do

everything that's reasonably possible and cost effective to keep them out

in the first place."