WASHINGTON – Today, in a 94-1 vote, the Senate passed an expanded version of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which addresses the rise in hate crimes and violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum president and CEO, Juliet K. Choi issued the following statement:

“The passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is a testament to the monumental organizing by our Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and allies against hate. We thank Sens. Mazie Hirono and Tammy Duckworth, and Rep. Grace Meng for championing this effort in Congress. The overwhelming bipartisan support for this bill shows that our nation, regardless of political party, is united against the heinous acts of violence singling out our community.

“With the inclusion of the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, Uniform Crime Reporting agencies will standardize and include detailed information in the collection and reporting of hate crimes, which is critical to providing resources for impacted community members. Additionally, this legislation will provide more in-language information and resources on hate crime reporting.

“Communities of color have been victims of targeted hate throughout our country’s history, and this sad but true experience has become more profound and more pronounced over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senate’s bipartisan leadership in the passage of this bill is a step in the right direction, for the country and for our communities. Together, collectively and individually, neighbor to neighbor, we must protect the most vulnerable in our country.”

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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.