Washington – With the support of Democrats and Republicans, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, signed a law this Thursday aimed at articulating a rapid federal response to the increase in hate crimes that the Asian population has suffered during the pandemic. .
At an event at the White House, Biden thanked the two parties for coming together to pass a law against the “ugly poison that has long haunted and plagued this nation,” referring to racism and hate crimes.
“My message to all those who are suffering is: we see you. Congress has said it, we see you. And we are committed to stopping hatred and discrimination, ”he promised.RELATED
Biden’s 20-minute speech was littered with references to the mission he assumed when he launched his campaign for the 2020 presidential election: to rescue the values of decency and equality in the United States to unite the country as one. , banishing hatred forever.
The ceremony had a cordial air with Democrats and Republicans laughing at Biden’s jokes. It was also the first time that a massive event was held inside the White House with the attendance of almost 70 people and without the protection of masks.
Members of both parties attended the ceremony, who in recent weeks left their political colors behind to pass the law in Congress.
Specifically, the House of Representatives approved the bill this week with 364 votes in favor and 62 against, all from the Republican Party; while last month the initiative received almost unanimous support in the Senate (94-1).
The ceremony was also attended by US Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman, the first African American and the first person of Asian origin to hold that position.
Harris alluded to the increase in attacks against Asian Americans and cited several episodes of violence, including the March shooting that killed eight people, six of them Asian women, in Atlanta, Georgia.
“That violence,” Harris said, “did not come from nowhere and none of this is new. In my life, in my experiences, I have seen how hatred can invade our communities … I have seen how it can impede our progress. And I have seen how when people unite against hatred, our country grows stronger. “
The objective of the law signed by Biden is to make it easier to report hate crimes through information campaigns. In addition, the documents necessary to file a complaint will be available on the internet in several languages.
In addition, a new position will be created in the Department of Justice with the mission of investigating hate crimes related to the pandemic.
A study by California State University, San Bernardino indicates that in the first quarter of this year there was a 164% increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans compared to the same period last year, just before the pandemic. .
Although no one mentioned former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) during the ceremony, some NGOs attribute the recent stigmatization of citizens with roots in Asia to his comments on COVID-19, which he described as “the China virus.”