Kildee Supports Bipartisan Legislation to Address Surge in Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans

Press Release

Date: May 18, 2021
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded the passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, bipartisan legislation to address the rise of hate crimes and violence targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).

The legislation combats hate crimes by creating a point person at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to expedite the review of COVID-19 related hate crimes, supporting state and local law enforcement agencies to respond to these hate crimes and coordinating with local and federal partners to minimize the use of racially discriminatory language when describing the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is horrifying and simply unacceptable. I was proud to support this bill today to help provide federal, state and local law enforcement the resources they need to review and respond to these hate crimes," said Congressman Kildee. "I'm pleased that Democrats and Republicans could come together to pass this legislation and send it to President Biden's desk to be signed into law."

Specifically, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act directs the DOJ to:

Designate a DOJ employee to assist with expedited review of COVID-19 hate crimes reported to federal, state, and/or local law enforcement;
Provide guidance for state and local law enforcement agencies to establish online reporting of hate crimes or incidents, make online reporting available in multiple languages and expand culturally competent and linguistically appropriate public education campaigns; and
Issue guidance detailing best practices to mitigate racially discriminatory language in describing the COVID--19 pandemic, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the COVID--19 Health Equity Task Force and community-based organizations.
The passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act today is the latest action taken by Congressman Kildee to protect Americans from discrimination and violence. In the last few months, the House has passed:

H.R. 5, the Equality Act, to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, education, federal funding, employment, housing and access to credit.
H.R.1620, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, to end instances of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking by improving law enforcement responses to violence and funding local programs to support victims.
H.R. 1195, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, to protect social service and health care workers from workplace violence and injury by requiring employers implement workplace violence prevention plans.