Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) voted for S. 937, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. This bipartisan legislation will bolster the nation’s defenses against hate crimes committed against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and help combat the growing crisis of anti-AAPI discrimination, violence, and bigotry stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. This landmark piece of legislation will now go to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. Rep. Ross spoke on the anti-Asian hate crimes in yesterday’s Rules Hearing. Remarks can be found here.

“Constituents in my district have experienced anti-AAPI discrimination firsthand,” said Congresswoman Ross. “In North Carolina and across the country, our AAPI family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues are living in fear of being harassed, assaulted, or killed. As this country recovers from the pandemic and looks towards building back better, we have to put a stop to this discrimination and hatred. Congress passing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is a momentous step forward. This legislation will save lives and improve systems to reduce bigotry and violence now and in the future.”

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in discrimination, hate crimes, and violence targeted at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. A May 6, 2021 report points to the gravity of this crisis: more than 6,600 hate crimes against Asian Americans have been reported across all 50 states, with many more going unreported, over the last year. 

This legislation builds on President Biden’s leadership and will accelerate and strengthen our response to hate crimes, including by requiring the designation of an official at the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an expedited review of all COVID-related hate crimes. The bill also includes critical provisions to improve the reporting of hate crimes, authorize grants to states to establish and run hate crime hotlines, support law enforcement agencies with training officers on how to identify hate crimes, and help state and local governments develop systems for collecting hate crime data.

“I am honored to be a member of this Congress which acted quickly, boldly, and with a united spirit in passing this legislation,” Congresswoman Ross continued. “Anti-Asian hate crimes must be condemned. I applaud President Biden for his leadership, and my colleagues across the aisle and across the Capitol, as we pass this important bill into law.”


In April, S. 937 passed the Senate on a nearly unanimous vote, 94-1. After being approved today by the House, the legislation will go to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.