Biden signs anti-Asian hate crime bill into law

President Biden on Thursday signed into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act after Congress voted to approve it this week.

Vice President Kamala Harris, the first person of Asian descent to hold the office, opened the signing ceremony by thanking lawmakers for their work.

“To the members of our United States Congress on both sides of the aisle who helped pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, thank you,” she said. “Because of you, history will remember this day and this moment when our nation took action to combat hate.”

“Here’s the truth: Racism exists in America. Xenophobia exists in America, antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia — it all exists,” she added. “And so the work to address injustice wherever it exists remains the work ahead.”

More than 3,000 violent incidents against Asian Americans have been reported since mid-March 2020.

“For centuries, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, diverse and vibrant communities, have helped build this nation, only to be often stepped over, forgotten, or ignored,” Biden said at the ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

“I believe, with every fiber of my being, that there are simple, core values and beliefs that should bring us together as Americans. One of them is standing together against hate, against racism — an ugly poison that has long haunted and plagued our nation. Today I can say that because of all of you … you’ve taken that first step.”

“My message to all of those who are hurting is: We see you and the Congress has said, we see you. And we are committed to stop the hatred and the bias,” he said.

The legislation will create a new position at the Justice Department to review Covid-19-related hate crimes and incidents reported at the federal, state or local level.

The signing comes two days after the House of Representatives passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act by a vote of 364-62; all 62 votes against the bill were from Republicans.

Here are the House Republicans who voted against the legislation:

  • Robert Aderholt of Alabama
  • Rick Allen of Georgia
  • Jodey Arrington of Texas
  • Brian Babin of Texas
  • Jim Banks of Indiana
  • Andy Biggs of Arizona
  • Dan Bishop of North Carolina
  • Laurne Boebert of Colorado
  • Mo Brooks of Alabama
  • Ted Budd of North Carolina
  • Tim Burchett of Tennessee
  • Kat Cammack of Florida
  • Jerry Carl of Alabama
  • Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina
  • Michael Cloud of Texas
  • Andrew Clyde of Georgia
  • Tom Cole of Oklahoma
  • Warren Davidson of Ohio
  • Byron Donalds of Florida
  • Jeff Duncan of South Carolina
  • Virginia Foxx of North Carolina
  • Matt Gaetz of Florida
  • Louie Gohmert of Texas
  • Bob Good of Virginia
  • Lance Gooden of Texas
  • Paul Gosar of Arizona
  • Mark Green of Tennessee
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia
  • Michael Guest of Mississippi
  • Andy Harris of Maryland
  • Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee
  • Kevin Hern of Oklahoma
  • Yvette Herrell of New Mexico
  • Jody Hice of Georgia
  • Clay Higgins of Louisiana
  • Ronny Jackson of Texas
  • Mike Johnson of Louisiana
  • Jim Jordan of Ohio
  • Trent Kelly of Mississippi
  • Doug LaMalfa of California
  • Barry Loudermilk of Georgia
  • Nancy Mace of South Carolina
  • Tracey Mann of Kansas
  • Thomas Massie of Kentucky
  • Tom McClintock of California
  • Mary Miller of Illinois
  • Alex Mooney of West Virginia
  • Barry Moore of Alabama
  • Ralph Norman of South Carolina
  • Steven Palazzo of Mississippi
  • Gary Palmer of Alabama
  • Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
  • August Pfluger of Texas
  • Tom Rice of South Carolina
  • John Rose of Tennessee
  • Matt Rosendale of Montana
  • David Rouzer of North Carolina
  • Chip Roy of Texas
  • John Rutherford of Florida
  • Greg Steube of Florida
  • Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin
  • Randy Weber of Texas