Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer from New York has thrown his support behind a bill to combat the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill would give the Department of Justice more tools to investigate and prosecute hate crimes and create an online portal for the public to report incidents.
Gordon Zhang is with the Long Island Chinese American Association. He said fear and anxiety among Asian Americans have increased during the pandemic.
“People are wondering how much more blood we must shed before our country, our leaders, take concrete actions to stop hate crimes and protect the AAPI community,” Zhang said.
Schumer stood alongside the county executives on Long Island and members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
“The fear in the Asian community and the threat of violence and harassment against its members should be a topic of national conversation. It matters here on Long Island where we have such a strong and vibrant and diverse Asian community,” Schumer said.
Schumer said the bill would also bolster funding for state and local law enforcement agencies to help them respond to hate crimes.
The legislation comes after a mass shooting in Georgia last month that targeted Asian-owned massage parlors, and the violent assault of a Filipino-American woman in New York City this week.