Skip to content

Senator Hirono, Representative Meng Statements Commemorating One-Year Anniversary of Passage of COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) issued the following statements on the one-year anniversary of President Biden signing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law. Following the rise of hate crimes and violence targeted at Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) communities, last March, Senator Hirono and Representative Meng introduced legislation to combat hate crimes and violence targeted at every marginalized community.

“One year ago today, we stood beside President Biden, Vice President Harris, and my colleagues, as the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act was signed into law. Amid a disturbing rise in anti-APIA hate crimes, this bill has provided the federal government and our communities with important tools and support to combat hate crimes. Since passing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, we have continued working to eradicate anti-Asian hate and the senseless acts of violence committed against members of our communities and every marginalized group.

“But we know that a lot of work remains. Anti-Asian hate is still on the rise, and we just witnessed a horrific domestic terrorist attack against the Black community in Buffalo last week. We must reaffirm our commitment to combatting the discrimination, prejudice, and racism that communities of color, the LGBTQ+ community, women and more, continue to face. Our work is not finished until everyone in this country is safe, welcomed, and respected,” said Senator Hirono.

“One year ago, President Biden stood with the Asian American community against bigotry and discrimination by signing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law, the bill I introduced with Senator Hirono,” said Congresswoman Meng. “The law was a first step toward addressing the surge in anti-Asian hate and violence as well as crimes committed against other impacted communities. Everybody in our country deserves to feel safe. As AAPIs process and recover from the trauma of these attacks, we must continue to provide every possible resource to community-based organizations on the ground. That is why I fought to create a new $5 million grant program in a federal government spending bill within the Justice Department that would go directly toward community-based organizations and civil rights groups providing services to hate crimes victims and their families. I remain in close contact with DOJ on implementing these funds, and the remaining provisions of the bill. Following the racist shooting in Buffalo last week and other attacks across the country, we must continue to combat hatred and racism whenever and wherever we see it.”