Congresswoman Maloney Votes to Pass COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, Stands Against Misinformation and Xenophobia

May 19, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) voted in support of S.937, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. This bill focuses on COVID-19 hate crimes and the dramatic increase in hate crimes and violence against Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the vote, Congresswoman Maloney, as Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, will manage debate for House Democrats on Congresswoman Judy Chu’s H.Res. 275 – Condemning the horrific shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16, 2021, and reaffirming the House of Representative's commitment to combating hate, bigotry, and violence against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community.

 

“Hate has no place in our city or nation. The spike in anti-AAPI violence around our city and country over this past year is disturbing and unacceptable,” said Rep. Maloney. “The heinous shootings in Georgia, Indianapolis, and the acts of violence in our very own backyard – Hell’s Kitchen, Central Park, on the subway, and across New York City – must be a wake-up call for all of us to the reality Asian Americans have been facing over the past year. Incidents like these are why we must always call out bigotry and hate – wherever and whenever we see it. Our AAPI neighbors have been attacked and harassed because of misinformation and xenophobia that wrongly blamed them for the COVID-19 virus. I stand in solidarity with the AAPI community today and every day. I am proud that Congress came together in a bipartisan vote to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and thank Congresswoman Meng and Senator Hirono for their leadership.”

 

In New York City, the number of anti-Asian hate crimes reported to the police increased by 833%, the most out of any major U.S. city. Last year, there was a 1,900% increase in violence against Asian Americans, and Asian American women were attacked at a rate almost 2.5 times more than Asian American men.

 

BACKGROUND

 

S.937, The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act:

 

Provides for the Review of COVID-19 Hate Crimes:

  • The bill designates an individual within the Department of Justice to be responsible for directing an expedited review of COVID-19 hate crimes and providing reports of any such crime to federal, state, local, or tribal law enforcement agencies, for a period of lasting until one year after the end of the pandemic emergency, which can be extended by the Attorney General.

Provides Guidance for Law Enforcement Agencies on Hate Crimes:

  • The bill requires the Attorney General to issue guidance for state, local, and tribal governments on how to:
  • Establish online reporting of hate crimes or incidents.
  • Collect disaggregated data.
  • Expand public education campaigns about hate crimes and victims.

Provides Guidance Relating to Hate Crimes Committed During The COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • The bill requires the Attorney General and the HHS Secretary to issue best practices on how to raise awareness of hate crimes committed during the COVID-19 pandemic, in coordination with the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.

Improves Reporting of Hate Crimes:

  • The bill will improve reporting of hate crimes by supporting the implementation of and training for National Incident-Based Reporting System, the latest crime reporting standard, in law enforcement agencies without it. This will allow law enforcement agencies to record and report detailed information about crimes, including hate crimes, to the FBI.

Encourages Law Enforcement Prevention, Training and Education on Hate Crimes:

  • The bill will provide support to law enforcement agencies that establish a policy on identifying, investigating, and reporting hate crimes; train officers on how to identify hate crimes; develop a system for collecting hate crime data; establish a hate crimes unit within the agency; and engage in community relations to address hate crimes in that jurisdiction.

Establishes Hate Crime Hotlines:

  • The bill will authorize grants to states to establish and run hate crime hotlines, to record information about hate crimes, and to redirect victims and witnesses to law enforcement and local support services as needed. This will help make sure that hate crimes don’t go unreported and victims get the help that they need.

Rehabilitates Perpetrators of Hate Crimes through Education and Community:

  • The bill will allow for judges to require individuals convicted under federal hate crime laws to undergo community service or education centered on the community targeted by the crime.

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