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Rep. Chu Statement Senate Passage of Bipartisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to Combat Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

April 22, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate voted 94-1 to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act introduced by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06). The bill will help to address the alarming surge in anti-Asian violence that has occurred throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by improving hate crime tracking and reporting and providing additional resources to state and local law enforcement. The bill also includes the text of the bipartisan Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act introduced by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Reps. Don Beyer (VA-08), Judy Chu (CA-27), Fred Upton (MI-06), and Vern Buchanan (FL-16). The House will take up the Senate-passed bill during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

 

“Since the very start of the coronavirus pandemic, Asian American communities across the nation have been terrified by stigma, prejudice, and violence. What started out as dirty looks quickly escalated into violent assaults that were made increasingly worse by leaders like Donald Trump who used racial slurs like ‘China virus’ and ‘Kung Flu’ to refer to COVID-19. This has contributed to a year that saw over 3,800 reported anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents, including the horrific shootings at three Asian-owned spas in Georgia that claimed eight lives, six of whom were Asian women. This shooting shocked our nation and brought national attention to the ongoing fear and frustration that Asian Americans have faced throughout the pandemic. If we are to stop this violence, we must take action to strengthen our hate crimes laws and protect vulnerable communities. That is why today’s bipartisan passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is so significant. This bill also includes my NO HATE Act, which will help to improve local law enforcement’s ability to respond. It is vital that hate crime victims know where to turn and have confidence that they will be heard, believed, and helped. Today’s vote brings us one step closer to that goal, and I look forward to passing this legislation in the House and getting it to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”