Amid Rise in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes, Velazquez Announces Two Bills to Direct Federal Resources to End Spike, Combat Crimes Nationwide
Washington, D.C. – In light of the spike in racist and biased crimes against Asian-Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has introduced two bills to combat hate crimes across the country. These bills would dedicate federal dollars towards helping law enforcement, community-based organizations, and schools address hate crimes and step up prevention efforts.
"Any attack, whether verbal or physical that is motivated by hate and intolerance is anti-American," said Velázquez. "The promise of this country has long been as a beacon of diversity and a celebration of our cultural differences, and these crimes ought to be treated and prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law. That is why I'm introducing two bills today to put more weight from the federal government behind fighting these crimes. These bills harness commonsense measures to bolster hate crime prevention efforts in our communities and will help victims secure assistance and justice."
Velazquez's first bill is the Hate Crime Victim Assistance Act. It is co-sponsored by Representatives: Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Nikema Williams (D-GA), and André Carson (D-IN).
This legislation will empower community responses against hate crimes by:
- Establishing local hate crime hotlines and website grants to encourage hate crime reporting by victims while protecting the personally identifiable information of victims;
- Creating a new grant program to empower law enforcement to better identify hate crimes and engage with communities at-risk of said crimes; and
- Providing funding for community-based organizations and local entities to help combat hate crimes.
Velazquez's second bill is the Education Against Hate Crimes Act of 2021. It is co-sponsored by Representatives: Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Nikema Williams (D-GA), and André Carson (D-IN).
Under this bill:
- State and local educational agencies, in addition to nonprofit organizations, would be eligible for federal grants to implement hate crime prevention and prejudice reduction education for secondary and middle school students.
- Federal funding would be prioritized for areas experiencing a disproportionate rise in hate crimes.