May 19 2021 The U.S. House of Representatives voted 364 to 62 to pass a bill to deal with a surge in hate crimes and violence against Asian-Americans during the new outbreak.
The bill, known as the Anti-Pandemic & Hate Crime Act, was drafted by Democrats, National Public Radio and other U.S. media reported Wednesday. The bill includes speeding up the Justice Department’s review of anti-Asian hate crimes, providing a multilingual online hate crime reporting system, and strengthening reporting of hate crimes by state and local law enforcement.
On 22 April, the bill passed the Senate by 94 votes in favour and 1 against. U.S. President Joe Biden has previously expressed support for the legislation. The White House press secretary tweeted on May 18 that Biden would sign the bill this week.
U.S. media say discrimination and violent crime against Asians have surged since the outbreak began. A study of 16 major U.S. cities by California State University, San Bernardino, found that hate crimes against Asians increased by 164 percent in the first quarter of 2021.