Statement from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland made the following statement after President Biden’s signing of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law:

“Today’s bill signing is an important step toward protecting everyone in our country from acts of hate and intolerance.

“We have seen a substantial rise in hate crimes and bias-related incidents against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community since the beginning of the pandemic. 

“This new law will help speed our response to hate crimes and provide resources to law enforcement to improve hate crime reporting. The law will assist law enforcement in targeting its efforts, which will help to prevent these devastating crimes and to respond efficiently and effectively to crimes, when they occur.

“The Department of Justice is proud to play a central role in implementing this legislation. Investigating and prosecuting hate crimes is a top priority, deeply rooted in the department’s founding. We will use the new law to enhance the aggressive measures we are taking to combat crime motivated by bigotry and discrimination.”