CAPAC Members Commemorate Anniversary of COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act Being Signed into Law

May 20, 2022

Washington, D.C. —  Today, Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) commemorate the first anniversary of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act being signed into law by President Biden. CAPAC Members released the following statements:

CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27):

“Today marks one year since the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act was signed into law by President Biden. We have seen over 11,000 anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents reported since March 2020, making the passage and signing of this bill into law all the more critical. The bill also included the text of my bipartisan bill, the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, which strengthens hate crimes reporting by state and local law enforcement through the implementation of the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and, crucially, provides resources to support victims of hate crimes. I was proud to lead this bill with Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) and it serves as a stark reminder of the lives lost and destroyed by hatred and bigotry. I thank CAPAC First Vice-Chair Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06) and Senator Mazie Hirono (HI), for their leadership on this bill and President Biden for making sure this important step towards combating anti-Asian hate is now the law of the land. As we move forward, along with my fellow CAPAC Members, I will continue working with our partners at the Department of Justice to ensure this law is implemented and upheld to its fullest extent.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice-Chair:

“One year ago, President Biden stood with the Asian American community against bigotry and discrimination by signing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law, the bill I introduced with Senator Hirono. The law was a first step toward addressing the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes that resulted from our community being scapegoated for the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. These accusations led to Asian Americans being violently attacked – and tragically even killed. Everybody in our country deserves to feel safe. As our community processes and recovers from the trauma of these attacks, we must continue to provide every possible resource to community-based organizations on the ground. That is why I fought to create a new $5 million grant program in a federal government spending bill within the Justice Department that would go directly toward community-based organizations and civil rights groups providing services to hate crimes victims and their families. We must continue to combat hatred and racism whenever and wherever we see it.”

Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Second Vice-Chair:

“According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, anti-Asian hate crimes rose by 339-percent last year. There have been 10,905 hate incidents against AAPIs from March 2020 through December 2021 – that we know of – according to Stop AAPI Hate. These statistics are heartbreaking and infuriating all at once. One year ago today, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act was signed into law to put an end to these hate crimes against AAPIs. I’m proud of the work of my Democratic colleagues and thankful to President Biden for his commitment to addressing this issue and supporting our community through these tumultuous times. May the progress continue.”

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33), CAPAC Whip:

“Asian Americans faced a shocking spike in hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic as racist rhetoric and prejudice surged. The passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act marked an important step toward protecting the AAPI community and has helped provide victims with support. As we mark one year since the passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, I continue to stand with Asian Americans who are victims of hate crimes and harassment. We remain strongly committed to eradicating Asian hate in all its forms.”

Senator Mazie Hirono (HI):

“One year ago today, we stood beside President Biden, Vice President Harris, and my colleagues, as the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act was signed into law. Amid a disturbing rise in anti-APIA hate crimes, this bill has provided the federal government and our communities with important tools and support to combat hate crimes. Since passing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, we have continued working to eradicate anti-Asian hate and the senseless acts of violence committed against members of our communities and every marginalized group. But we know that a lot of work remains. Anti-Asian hate is still on the rise, and we just witnessed a horrific domestic terrorist attack against the Black community in Buffalo last week. We must reaffirm our commitment to combatting the discrimination, prejudice, and racism that communities of color, the LGBTQ+ community, women and more, continue to face. Our work is not finished until everyone in this country is safe, welcomed, and respected.”

Congressman Al Green (TX-09):

“A year ago today, the House, Senate, and Biden Administration made it perspicuously clear through passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act that hate and invidious discrimination have no place in the United States. To this day, we proudly stand for and with Asian Americans to denounce intolerance against them and other marginalized communities. I applaud CAPAC for taking a laudable public stance against hate and showing that we reject the poisonous epidemic of hate crimes in our nation, for it is those who tolerate hate that perpetuate hate.”

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07):

“As we mark the one-year anniversary since we passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, we remember the lives of our fellow Asian American and Pacific Islander siblings who were taken by hate, leaving our communities reeling. This legislation made it clear that there is no room for racism, discrimination, hate, or violence in this country, and that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are just as valid in their American identity as anybody else. We must continue to build on this work in Congress and put an end to this hate once and for all.”

Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03):

“When I met with the families and friends of the shooting victims in Atlanta and when I speak with AAPI communities in New Jersey, I continue to be asked what I can do – what Congress can do to help keep AAPIs safe? By passing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act last year, we took concrete steps that show that our country is serious about addressing AAPI hate. the law is a good first step, but it must be fully implemented and funded so that our communities and police are better equipped to recognize and report hate crimes. I hope that as we go forward, we can begin to move beyond the politics of "otherism" and hate to instead focus on the shared values that can bring us together."

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10):

“One year ago, Congress passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to tackle hate crimes against the AAPI community that spiked due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with my CAPAC colleagues, I was honored to play a pivotal role in guiding this important legislation through Congress. While we still have more work to do to prevent anti-AAPI hate crimes, we come together to celebrate this important anniversary and recommit ourselves to always standing up for the AAPI community.”

Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07):

“The racist Atlanta Spa Shootings left families in my district and across our country in fear of an unprecedented rise in hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans. I was proud to stand with my AAPI neighbors and pass this civil rights legislation to make clear that hate against anyone is an attack on us all. One year later, acts of white supremacy are still damaging our nation. While we recognize this legislation’s impact, we must look at what can be done next. To overcome hate, we must and will stand together.”

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05):

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a deadly public health emergency, an economic crisis, and a disturbing rise in anti-Asian hate in the United States. A year ago today, this Congress took action, passing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to ensure that hate crimes against the AAPI community are punished to the full extent of the law. Over the last two years, I have seen our Asian communities come together to help their neighbors, donating masks and food, and joining marches and protests to demand justice for all. Our communities are enriched with this diversity of cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and deserve to live free of fear from violence and discrimination based on their heritage and race.”

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (CA-38):

“Every American deserves to feel safe and protected in their communities. Unfortunately, we have witnessed a disturbing rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress made historic progress one year ago today when we passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. This legislation was an important step toward preventing racially motivated violence in America. However, there is more work to be done. I am committed to working alongside my colleagues in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus to combat anti-Asian hate wherever it is found.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09):

“Today marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, a tremendous milestone in our fight to tackle hate crimes in the United States. This bill, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, provided resources to improve hate crime tracking and reporting, conduct prevention and response programs, and provide support to the victims of hate crimes – with specific emphasis on the increase in violence against Asian Americans. Tragically, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a rise in xenophobia and racism, which fueled a steady increase of anti-Asian hate crimes. This crisis has been deeply felt in communities across the country, including in the Ninth District of Washington State. I am proud of the swift action taken by Congress to address this crisis. Today, as we reflect on this anniversary, we are also reminded of the work that remains to help reduce hate crimes and ensure that all members of our communities are able to lead safe and prosperous lives.”

Congressman David Trone (MD-06):

“Injustice and prejudice toward the Asian community is nothing new, but it’s important we continue to take action together against this hate,” said Representative David Trone. “That’s exactly why I voted to support the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. Immigrants make America stronger. We are so fortunate that folks want to come to this country, and we need to help drive that. And we should celebrate those diverse perspectives and cultures because they are the fabric of our nation.” 

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