President Biden has signed anti-Asian hate crime bill into law
On May 20, President Joe Biden went ahead and signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law, following its passing through Congress, thanks to a 364-62 vote by the House.
He stated that for several centuries, it was communities such as Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and other diverse groups that assisted with the building of the country. However, they continue to get overlooked or even stepped over. He sent a message to them saying they see such groups and plan on remaining dedicated to cease such hatred and the bias.
Moreover, the president used the word un-American to describe the history of mistreatment against the AAPI community in the US. He added that you are complicit if you remain silent and thus, it is important to speak out. It is crucial to act and he added that the community did just that and hence, he is proud.
The legislation was introduced by Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono after the increase in violence against Asian Americans, specifically following the onset of the pandemic. It was stated that it will help direct the Department of Justice to accelerate reviewing hate crimes associated with COVID-19 whenever reported to law enforcement agencies and also enforce measures for the reporting of such incidents online.
Under the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, the attorney general and Department of Health and Human Services are provided the best practices on mitigating racist language when the pandemic is described.
Vice President Kamala Harris- an Indian-American- spoke as well, thanking all the lawmakers as they put in hard work to ensure that the legislation passed. She thanked the members of our United States Congress from both parties who assisted with the passing of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, stating that this day will be remembered in history as the country took action for tackling hate.