Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC Applauds Senate Passage of Legislation to Address Hate Crimes, including Surge of Hate Impacting Asian Communities

Historic Bill Receives Strong Bipartisan Support
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144

WASHINGTON, DC — April 22, 2021 ― The Senate, in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which was amended to include the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act (Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act).  The passage of this bill brings together two complementary legislative proposals to address the current rise in anti-Asian hate and tackles the broader infrastructural improvements needed in hate crimes data collection, reporting, and connection to support services.  

This legislation includes critical provisions to expand language access and allow for culturally competent and linguistically accessible public education campaigns to reach communities targeted by hate with information regarding reporting and support services.  With the inclusion of the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, the legislation provides for more accurate data and improved response to the hate crimes that are impacting Asian Americans and allied people of color, religious minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. 

Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC (Advancing Justice - AAJC) releases the following statement:

“Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC applauds the Senate for passing this milestone legislation. The Asian American community has been facing two pandemics - the spreading virus  of hate and racism and the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is past time for us to take action to address hate crimes and better support communities impacted by hate. We thank Senator Hirono and Representative Meng for their leadership in drafting this important bill.  We also thank Senator Blumenthal and Representative Beyer for their leadership in the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act.  

The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act provides the necessary language access provisions to support the limited English proficient members of our community. Language support and linguistically appropriate and culturally competent education and outreach are vital for assisting Asian Americans who have been impacted by hate in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Investing in better quality data and reporting infrastructure are vital in addressing racial equity for the long-term. We support efforts to confront and uproot the systems of white supremacy that feed into the historic targeting, over-policing, and criminalizing of communities of color in the United States. Policies and practices that protect people of color, religious minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community benefit us all. 

The historic passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act will provide much-needed support for individuals and communities impacted by hate and discrimination. Advancing Justice - AAJC has worked closely with congressional offices and a broad coalition of civil rights partners to support this bill. We thank all of our partners and the senators who supported this effort through the passage of this historic bill. 

We must seize this moment to come together and send the unequivocal message that hate against Asian Americans or any community has no place in our society. We now urge the House of Representatives to act swiftly to vote and approve this legislation.”