These initiatives will help combat the historic undercounting of COVID hate crimes by the Asian American community and improve the overall infrastructure
Congress approved legislation Tuesday intended to curtail a striking rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, sending President Joe Biden a bipartisan denunciation of the spate of brutal attacks that have proliferated during the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill, which the House passed on a 364-62 vote, will expedite the review of hate crimes at the Justice Department and make grants available to help local law enforcement agencies improve their investigation, identification, and reporting of incidents driven by bias, which often go underreported.
“Asian Americans have been screaming out for help, and the House and Senate and President Biden have clearly heard our pleas,” said Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., who helped lead efforts to pass the bill in the House.
To many Asian Americans, the pandemic has invigorated deep-seated biases that in some cases date back to the Chinese Exclusion Act of more than a century ago. President Donald Trump repeatedly referred to the virus, which emerged in Wuhan, China, as the “China Virus” or the “Kung Flu.” And as cases of the illness began to rise in the US, so too did the attacks, with thousands of violent incidents reported in the past year. This bill was introduced by Senator Mazie Hirono and Representative Grace Meng in the House, and incorporated the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act.
The President as well as the Vice-President of the United States took to Twitter to announce the signing of the bill into law. President Joe Biden tweeting from the official Twitter handle of POTUS said that
He also tweeted a link to the live video of the bill signing and his speech on the occasion.
VP Kamala Harris in a couple of tweets said;
These initiatives will help combat the historic undercounting of COVID hate crimes by the Asian American community and improve the overall infrastructure needed for hate crime reporting, data collection, and justice, said Christine Chen, executive director of APIAVote.