In the 16 largest cities in the United States, Anti-Asian hate crimes rose on average 150%, from 2019 to 2020 according to a study released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
In response to the uptick in violence against the AAPI community, the Senate passed a bill at the end of April designed to curb a spike in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. The bill will now need to be passed by the House. The proposal would advise the Justice Department to expedite the review of hate crimes. It would also provide more resources to state and local law enforcement to track incidents and provide guidance on how to root out discriminatory language.
During his first 100 days in office, Biden signed the Executive Order on Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery. The order created a Task Force that will make recommendations to the President to eliminate health and social disparities that result in higher rates of exposure, illness, hospitalization and death related to COVID-19. The Task Force recently established a subcommittee on Structural Drivers of Health Inequity and Xenophobia. This subcommittee will provide recommendations to ensure the Federal Government’s response to COVID-19 mitigates anti-Asian xenophobia and bias.
Wong Fleming will continue to monitor this proposed and long-overdue legislation.