May 25, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 19, 2021

Contact: Kevin Hirano, media@apiavote.org, (202) 223-9170
 

APIAVOTE ISSUES STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF COVID-19 HATE CRIMES ACT

WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives passed the Senate-approved version of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act with an overwhelming 364-62 bipartisan vote. This bill was introduced by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) in the House, and incorporates the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act. This legislation addresses the current rise in anti-Asian hate and improves the reporting of hate crimes. The bill now goes to President Biden’s desk for final signature.

“APIAVote applauds the House for its passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. While the racism and systemic inequalities facing Asian American communities are not new, the convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and rise in anti-Asian attacks have further exacerbated these long-standing issues,” said Christine Chen, Executive Director of APIAVote. 

“That is why we welcome the passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. This bill will address this rise in anti-Asian racism by expediting the review of COVID-19-related hate crimes, making online hate crimes and hate incident reporting language accessible, and expanding public awareness of campaigns designed to increase awareness and outreach to victims. This bill also disaggregates victims’ protected characteristics and expands restorative justice practices and alternative sentencing. In aggregate, this bill improves the overall infrastructure needed for hate crime reporting, data collection, and justice. 

“Hate crimes are severely underreported, and for Asian Americans, language barriers and lack of culturally competent services and outreach have specifically made it more difficult for our communities to get the justice and support they need. While we acknowledge the long road ahead in addressing the surge in hate crimes, as well as the root causes of systemic racism and white supremacy, this bill is a crucial step towards confronting these issues. We urge President Biden to swiftly sign this legislation into law.”

APIAVote and our partner-network of community based organizations look forward to working with our elected officials and the Biden-Harris administration to continue to ensure that the voices and interests of AAPIs are included and addressed. 

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About APIAVote: Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is a national nonpartisan organization that works with partners to mobilize Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in electoral and civic participation. APIAVote envisions a world that is inclusive, fair, and collaborative, and where AAPI communities are self-determined, empowered, and engaged. See our website for more information at http://www.apiavote.org/