Congressman Crow Helps Pass COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

May 18, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Jason Crow helped pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, landmark legislation that strengthens the nation’s defenses against hate crimes committed against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. The bipartisan legislation now heads to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. 

“In the midst of a deadly pandemic, our nation has witnessed a horrific rise in violent, racist attacks against Asian Americans,” said Rep. Jason Crow. “Across Colorado and the country, our AAPI neighbors, loved ones, and friends are living in fear of being targeted with racial slurs, physical intimidation, and deadly violence. Today’s bipartisan vote sends a strong message of solidarity with the AAPI community that hate will not be tolerated.”

Following the spread of COVID-19, there has been a dramatic increase in discrimination, hate crimes and violence targeted at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.  According to a new report issued on May 6, over the last year more than 6,600 reported hate crimes against Asian Americans have been reported across all 50 states, with many more going unreported. 

President Joe Biden has taken swift action, including his Day One Executive Order to marshal federal resources to combat racism, xenophobia, and bigotry against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and his March 30 announcement of additional steps to combat anti-AAPI hate.

Building on this progress, this vital bill will speed up and strengthen our response to hate crimes, including requiring the designation of an official at the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an expedited review of all COVID-related hate crimes.  The bill also includes important provisions to improve the reporting of hate crimes, authorize grants to states to establish and run hate crime hotlines, support law enforcement agencies with training officers on how to identify hate crimes and help state and local governments develop a system for collecting hate crime data.

In April, the Senate passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act on a nearly unanimous vote, 94-1. After being approved today by the House, the legislation will go to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.