I applaud the United States Senate and the leadership of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) for passing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act by an overwhelming margin. This critical legislation will bring our nation one step closer to achieving justice and equality for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. And, I was happy to see the Senate add the bipartisan Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act as an amendment, which will further our national efforts to stand strongly against acts of hate and violence.
For more than a year, far too many Asian Americans have woken up each morning increasingly fearful for their safety and the safety of their loved ones. They have been scapegoated, harassed, and assaulted; some have even been killed. It has been over a year of living in fear for their lives, as acts of anti-Asian bias and violence have accelerated from coast to coast — an unconscionable burden our fellow Americans have been forced to bear, even as so many Asian Americans serve their communities and our nation tirelessly on the front lines of the pandemic.
Too often throughout our history, acts of hate and violence directed at Asian Americans have been met with silence. Our nation must stand together to speak out against hate, and declare unequivocally: These acts are wrong. They are un-American. And they must stop. I am grateful to Senator Hirono, Senator Duckworth, Congresswoman Meng, and CAPAC’s Chair, Congresswoman Chu, for their persistent and courageous leadership on this issue — and I look forward to swift consideration and passage in the House of Representatives, and signing this important legislation into law.