Two Asian American lawmakers are asking the Department of Justice to move faster to implement the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act, CNN reports.
Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Rep. Grace Meng of New York sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday, highlighting key provisions of the new law that should be implemented swiftly.
“We request your attention to these matters and periodic updates on your progress as you continue to implement the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and work to reduce the violence from xenophobia and hate in our country,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter.
President Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act on May 20. The act instructs the DOJ to expedite the review of COVID-19 related hate crimes, NBC News reports.
The law was created in response to the rise in hate crimes during the pandemic. An organization called STOP AAPI hate has recorded over 9,000 incidents of anti-Asian hate since the start of the pandemic. Lawmakers hope the act will help mitigate the rise in anti-Asian violence.
“Full implementation of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act will help stem the tide against further violence,” the letter states.
A DOJ spokesperson confirmed to NBC News that the DOJ had received the letter.
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