Rosen-Backed COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act Signed into Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), an associate member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), visited the White House where President Joe Biden signed the Rosen-co-sponsored COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law. This newly passed bipartisan legislation will address the rise of hate crimes and violence targeted at members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The new law will 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.

“We must stand together against the alarming surge of racist and violent attacks that Asian Americans have experienced,” said Senator Rosen. “I was proud to join my colleagues in passing this bipartisan legislation to better equip our federal agencies to address these indefensible attacks and confront anti-Asian xenophobia in the face of COVID-19, and I’m thrilled to see it signed into law today. It is an honor 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 they are treated with respect and dignity.”

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

Specifically, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act will:

  • 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.