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SPLC Action Fund Applauds Bipartisan House Passage of the COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act

SPLC President and CEO Margaret Huang issued the following statement:

"It’s heartening that the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act this afternoon by a vote of 364-62. This legislation, which incorporates the provisions of the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act of 2019 (NO HATE Act), is the most important hate crime prevention legislation enacted in the last decade. The Senate approved this legislation, which is designed to address the disturbing rise in hate violence directed against Asian American communities, by a vote of 94-1 last month. The new law will also help improve the response to hate crimes directed against other people of color, religious minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ communities.

"Data drives policy. We cannot address what we are not measuring accurately. Robust, comprehensive, hate crime data collection is necessary for developing and implementing sound public policy. This legislation will authorize incentive grants to spark improved local and state hate crime training and data collection initiatives, as well as funding for state-based hotlines to connect victims with local support services.

"We deeply appreciate the willingness of so many in the AAPI community to come forward in the aftermath of violence and vandalism directed towards them and their communities. And this legislation could not have been passed without the courage of the families of hate crime victims Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer, who were willing to tell the stories of their loved ones.

"Thank you to House champions Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Don Beyer, Jr. (D-VA), Fred Upton (R-MI), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Senate champions Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT, Jerry Moran (R-KS). We are looking forward to President Biden signing this legislation into law and we stand ready to help Justice Department officials implement the important new tools and programs authorized by this measure."