APAPA Applauds Support for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

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Sacramento, CA APAPA applauds U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) for supporting and co-sponsoring U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono’s (D-HI) proposed legislation for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act that would force the U.S. Justice Department to prioritize and expedite reviews of COVID-19 related hate crimes targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. According to many news sources, hate crimes against Asian and Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and other metropolitan areas have increased significantly since the pandemic. This has caused concerns in the AAPI communities, law enforcement, and other advocacy organizations.

APAPA also applauds President Biden’s January 26, 2021, Executive Memo “Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.” In his first Presidential Address to the nation about the pandemic on March 11, 2021, President Biden emphatically stated that the vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans who have been attacked, harassed, blamed, and scapegoated “is wrong, it is un-American, and it must stop.

According to U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono’s news page, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act specifically directs the Department of Justice (DOJ) to: 

  • Designate a DOJ employee to assist with expedited review of COVID-19 hate crimes reported to federal, state, and/or local law enforcement;
  • Provide guidance for state and local law enforcement agencies to:
    • Establish online reporting of hate crimes or incidents, and to have online reporting available in multiple languages;
    • Expand culturally competent and linguistically appropriate public education campaigns, and collection of data and public reporting of hate crimes; and
  • Issue guidance detailing best practices to mitigate racially discriminatory language in describing the COVID–19 pandemic, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the COVID–19 Health Equity Task Force, and community-based organizations.

APAPA applauds these efforts and urges all AAPI to report, speak up, and condemn all hate crimes perpetrated against all ethnic groups and other Americans. Our vision is to build an America where the American Dream is possible for all.

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APAPA is a non-profit, non-partisan and grassroots organization. Its mission is to empower Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Americans through education, leadership, and active participation in civic and public affairs.

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