The Senate passed an anti-Asian hate crime bill after a series of attacks against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Racism has always existed in America unfortunately and the legacy of anti-Asian sentiment goes back centuries to dark chapters in our history, like the Chinese-exclusion act and the internment of Japanese citizens during World War II,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
The legislation was passed in a 94-1 vote. Senator Josh Hawley was the only member to vote against the bill.
“Now, we’ve made great strides since those days, but over the past several years the forces of hate and bigotry seem to have gained strength, too often encouraged by our former president,” Schumer said. “By passing this bill, the Senate makes it very clear that hate and discrimination against any group has no place in America. Bigotry against one is bigotry against all.”
The legislation also directs the Department of Justice to review hate crimes associated with COVID-19 and establish ways to report incidents online and perform public outreach. The bill also requires the attorney general and the Department of Health and Human Services to issue a guide on how to mitigate discrimination during COVID-19.