The new law asks the U.S. Department of Justice to focus on prosecuting hate crimes against Asians in the aftermath of the attack.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill to combat the rise in hate crimes against Asians during the coronavirus pandemic, sending the bill to President Joe Biden on Tuesday for his signature.
The measure, previously passed by the Senate, was approved by a large number of people in the House, 364-62. The new law directs the U.S. Department of Justice to focus on prosecuting violent crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islands.
Last year, U.S. police saw a surge in racially motivated crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders including the March shooting in Georgia that killed six women has Asian ancestry.
“For more than a year, Asian Americans across the country have been crying out for help,” deputy Grace Meng, the bill’s lead advocate, said in a statement.
“We’ve all heard sick stories and seen horrific videos of Asian Americans being beaten, slashed and spit on,” Meng said when the bill was passed by the Senate by a 94-1 vote.
Law enforcement and Asian American advocates are concerned with rise in hate crimes against Asians in the political rhetoric of former President Donald Trump and other Republican politicians who criticized the Chinese pandemic.
Hate crimes are notorious rough in pursuit. The bill provides for a hotline for local prosecutors seeking guidance on cases and training for law enforcement.
It also accompanies the Jabara-Heyer “NO” Act, which improves law enforcement to report hate crimes and expands community assistance and resources for victims of such crimes. .
Law is named after Khalid Jabara, a Lebanese American killed by a racist neighbor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2016, and Heather Heyer, who died in a car attack while marching white supremacists in Charlottesville , Virginia, in 2017. Both attacks were initially not classified as hate crimes but under the new law.
In California and New York, habitats of large Asian American populations, already exist alarming events of violence against people of Asian descent.
In March, a 75-year-old Asian American man, Pak Ho, died after being thrown to the ground while taking a morning walk near his Oakland home. One suspect faces assault charges but not a hate speech charge.
In New York, a 65-year-old Filipino woman is attacked in bright sunlight while walking down the street a man kicked his stomach and kicked his head. The incident was captured on security video. He survived and he was arrested.
Last year, an Asian foreigner and her two young sons were stabbed and slashed while shopping for groceries in Midland, Texas.
The monitoring group, Stop AAPI Hate, reported 3,795 incidents nationwide between March 2020 and February 2021.