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Statement of Administration Policy: S. 937 - COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act of 2021

April 14, 2021

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(Senate)
(Sen. Hirono, D-HI, and 42 cosponsors)

The Biden Administration continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms the increasing acts of anti-Asian bias, harassment and violence. As the Nation continues to mourn the tragic loss of life and livelihoods that this rise in anti-Asian xenophobia has brought, elected leaders must act to prevent anti-Asian violence and advance inclusion and belonging for all Asian American communities. That is why the Administration strongly supports Senate passage of S. 937, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, to further support and coordinate the Federal response to acts of hate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Documented incidents of harassment and violence against Asian American communities have increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. S. 937 would create a designated coordinator at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to expedite the review of reported hate crimes and hate incidents for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. It would direct DOJ to issue new guidance to State and local law enforcement agencies on how to mitigate language access barriers in hate crimes reporting and expand the use of culturally competent public education campaigns. S. 937 would also require that DOJ and the Department of Health and Human Services jointly issue guidance on mitigating racially discriminatory language in describing the COVID-19 pandemic, in coordination with the COVID-19 Equity Task Force established by President Biden.

On March 19, 2021, President Biden called for the passage of this legislation in televised remarks and in an official statement. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act would build upon President Biden's January 26, 2021 Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, and would establish additional coordination at the Federal level in response to hate crimes. This bill will stand up for America's values by standing strongly against anti-Asian xenophobia and hate.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: S. 937 - COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act of 2021 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/350250