Biden Signs Bipartisan Anti-Asian Hate Crime Bill
President Joe Biden signed legislation that addresses combating the surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans that have spiked since the start of the pandemic.
The bill, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, was the result of a rare bipartisan agreement, passing the House in a 364-62 vote on Tuesday.
“After a year of the Asian American community crying out for help, today Congress is taking historic action to pass long-overdue hate crimes legislation and send the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to President Biden’s desk,” Rep. Judy Chu (D-California), chair of the AAPI Caucus, told reporters prior to the voting.
COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, introduced by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Grace Meng (D-New York), would create a new position at the Justice Department to expedite hate crime reports.
The bill will also provide grants for state governments to create hotlines for reporting hate crimes and to train their police officers on how to prevent and identify hate crimes.
It will also connect federal agencies to work with community-based organizations to help raise awareness about hate crimes during the pandemic.