Thursday, U.S. Sens. Alex Padilla, D-California, and seven other Democratic Senators issued a joint statement on the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act.
Joining Sen. Padilla in issuing the statement were: Sens. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey; Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey; Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii; Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois; Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada; the Rev. Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia; and Ben Ray Luján, D-New Mexico.
The statement reads: “Throughout our country’s history, the Asian American/Pacific Islander community has faced unacceptable discrimination and racism. Acts of hatred against AAPIs have surged since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 3,800 hate incidents and attacks reported within the past year alone.”
It continues, “Confronting this crisis and stopping this hatred demands a swift and coordinated federal response. We need a designated official at the Department of Justice to oversee reported hate crime incidents, prioritize and expeditiously review the cases, and ensure that victims are protected and justice is served — now and in the future. The hatred, pain and hurt being inflicted on the AAPI community is unacceptable and it demands not just words of condemnation, but action. We call on our colleagues to work with us to urgently enact this bill into law.”
Sixty votes are required to advance the legislation in the Senate, and some Republicans in Congress have expressed willingness to make amendments to pass the bill.