United States Senate passes bill to fight anti-Asian hate crimes | Daily Current Affairs 2021

United States Senate passes bill to fight anti-Asian hate crimes

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COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

The United States (US) Senate recently passed a hate crimes bill to counter a rise in the anti-Asian Hate Crimes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlights:

  • The bill was passed on May 18, 2021, with 364-62 vote with 62 Republicans voting against the bill.
  • It must pass the House of Representatives, where Democrats hold a clear majority.
  • President Joe Biden has called for passage.

Background:

  • The legislation, known as the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, was introduced by Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Democratic-Republican Grace Meng of New York.
  • In April 2021, the legislation passed the Senate by an overwhelming vote of 94-1.

What are the reasons for introduction of the hate crime bill?

The following are the reason for introduction of Hate Crime Bill.

  • The passage of the bill has come in the view of growing hate crimes against the Asian-American community in the US.
  • The passage of the anti-Asian hate crimes bill has come less than 2 months after a gunman had killed eight people in three Asian-owned spas in the greater Atlanta. Six of the victims were women of Asian descent.
  • On May 18, the US House also planned to pass a separate resolution condemning the massacre in Georgia on March 16, 2021.

About COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act:

  • The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act passed to prevent hate crimes against Asians will create a new position at the Justice Department to speed up the review of the potential COVID-19 related hate crimes and incidents reported at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • It will also direct the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to work with the community-based organizations for issuing guidance raising awareness of the hate crimes during the pandemic.
  • The newly passed bill will also require the US attorney general to issue the guidance to work with the local and state law enforcement agencies for establishing online reporting of them.

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