Dozens of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community groups are gearing up to ask the White House to set aside $300 million for safety and relief programs.
Why it matters: The request comes as President Biden and Vice President Harris meet on Friday with AAPI leaders in Atlanta, days after a white gunman in Atlanta killed eight people, including six Asian women.
Of note: Biden earlier Friday in a statement called for passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. The measure would...
- "Expedite the federal government’s response to the rise of hate crimes exacerbated during the pandemic,
- Support state and local governments to improve hate crimes reporting, and
- Ensure that hate crimes information is more accessible to Asian American communities."
Details of the AAPI request: $100 million would go to AAPI groups to develop programs that address anti-Asian discrimination, with an additional $200 million requested in the next federal budget for "longer-term community safety, recovery and resilience," including...
- Funds to help hate-crime victims report incidents in their language, receive mental health support, and navigate government resources.
- Money to help organizations advocate for victims and survivors.
- Resources for creating alternatives to law enforcement, such as violence prevention and crisis intervention.
- Funds to help AAPI essential workers and low-wage workers "confronting the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism," especially immigrants.
- Establishing a White-House-level interagency task force to coordinate federal efforts with AAPI advocates.
What they're saying: "It is open season on Asian American women and girls, transgender and gender non-conforming, undocumented and immigrant communities," the letter to Biden begins.
- "Our Asian elders are not safe walking on the streets for fear of getting sliced, punched, shoved, kicked and spit on. Our children endure bullying and are all but invisible in what they learn about in school. Our businesses are shuttered, our homes graffitied. We can’t wait any longer."
- The community groups also single out President Trump for his "China virus" rhetoric. He "extended the wounds of the AAPI community and invited hate-filled white supremacists to pour salt on them," the letter states.
The big picture: The pandemic has led to a rise in anti-Asian incidents across the U.S.
- Asian women are particularly vulnerable. They are 2.3 times more likely to report an incident than Asian men, according to Stop AAPI Hate.