Congress Approves Legislation to Curb Hate Crimes against Asian Americans

US Congress on Tuesday approved a bipartisan bill aimed at curbing the steep increase in hate crimes towards Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans, that took a turn for the worse during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fox News informed.

The legislation was approved with a vote of 364-62. It will speed up the process of reviewing hate crimes in the Justice Department and will offer grants for agencies of the local law enforcement to better the investigations, but also the incident reporting process which due to bias might go unreported. The bill was approved by the senate in April with 94-1 after a compromise was reached by the lawmakers. President Biden said that he intends to sign the legislation.

Democratic Rep. Grace Meng who helped the process of passing the legislation, praised the adoption saying that the institutions have finally heard their cries for help.

According to many reports, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the treatment towards some Asian Americans and produced biases that might go back to the Chinese Exclusion Act. Former President Donald Trump, called the virus with different names such as “China Virus” or “Kung Flu” and this might stirred some controversies. The attacks on Asian Americans raised proportionately with the increase of the COVID-19 cases in the country, reaching thousands of incidents last year.

In the past, many conservative lawmakers rejected hate crime legislation, saying that they make special classes and there are cases where a similar crime victim might be treated in a different manner.

Rep. Young Kim, R-Calif, who is Korean American stated that he praises Congress decision and the bipartisan support behind this bill, adding that it is impossible to legislate hate out of the minds and hearts of the people.

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