Rosen Co-Sponsors COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to Address Surge of Anti-Asian Hate Crimes During Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), an associate member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), announced her co-sponsorship of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, legislation to address the rise of hate crimes and violence targeted at members of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The legislation would assign a point person at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to expedite the review of COVID-19-related hate crimes, support state and local law enforcement agency response to hate crimes, and issue guidance to mitigate racially discriminatory language used to describe the pandemic.

“The alarming surge of racist and violent attacks against Asian Americans is unacceptable. More than ever, we must stand together,” said Senator Rosen. “That’s why I’ve joined this legislation calling for our federal agencies to address these indefensible attacks and confront anti-Asian xenophobia in the face of COVID-19. I’m honored to represent Nevada, home to one of the fastest-growing AAPI communities in the nation, and I’ll continue to listen to the needs of our AAPI community members to ensure that they are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

BACKGROUND: Nevada is home to the nation’s fastest-growing AAPI community.

Specifically, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act would:

  • Designate a DOJ employee to assist with expedited review of COVID-19 hate crimes reported to federal, state, and/or local law enforcement;
  • Provide guidance for state and local law enforcement agencies to:
    • Establish online reporting of hate crimes or incidents, and to have online reporting available in multiple languages;
    • Expand culturally competent and linguistically appropriate public education campaigns, and collection of data and public reporting of hate crimes; and
  • Issue guidance detailing best practices to mitigate racially discriminatory language in describing the COVID–19 pandemic, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the COVID–19 Health Equity Task Force, and community-based organizations.

Last year, Senator Rosen:

  • Joined Senate colleagues in a letter to then-President Trump, raising concerns about the increased harassment and violence against members of the AAPI community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Joined Senate colleagues in a letter urging the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) to issue guidance to federal agencies on preventing and addressing anti-Asian racism and xenophobia related to the pandemic.
  • Joined Senate colleagues in a resolution condemning discrimination against Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.