On National AAPI Day Against Hate and Bullying, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) released the following statement following House passage of the bipartisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which seeks to help combat the rise in anti-Asian hate by strengthening the tracking, reporting, and response to all COVID-19 related hate crimes. Earlier today, Strickland stood in solidarity with Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee Congressman Jerry Nadler (NY-10), CAPAC First Vice Chair Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08) and CAPAC Members at a press conference on the need to pass the legislation and Stop Asian Hate.
“Hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased about 150% in most cities, but we know that far too many of these crimes remain unreported or unsolved.” said Strickland. “Our community is still reeling from the sickening rise in anti-AAPI hatred, violence, and bigotry that has been exacerbated by this pandemic, and passing this bill is an important step towards stopping this disturbing pattern. During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and on National AAPI Day Against Hate and Bullying, I’m proud to stand in solidarity with Chairwoman Chu, Congresswoman Meng, Speaker Pelosi, and my colleagues in CAPAC and in the House as we send the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to the President’s desk to be signed into law, sending a powerful message that there is no place for anti-Asian hate, or hatred in any form, in our nation.”
Following the spread of COVID-19, there has been a dramatic increase in discrimination, hate crimes and violence targeted at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. This vital bill will speed up and strengthen our response to hate crimes, including requiring the designation of an official at the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an expedited review of all COVID-related hate crimes. The bill also includes important provisions to improve the reporting of hate crimes, authorize grants to states to establish and run hate crime hotlines, support law enforcement agencies with training officers on how to identify hate crimes and help state and local governments develop a system for collecting hate crime data.
In April, S. 937 passed the Senate on a nearly unanimous vote, 94-1. After being approved May 18 by the House, the legislation will go to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.