U.S. lawmakers could pass a bill aimed at combating hate crimes against Asian Americans as early as Wednesday.
While stressing that Asian hate crimes should stop, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday promoted the bill during a press conference in Manhattan's Koreatown, ahead of an expected Senate vote this week.
Schumer urged Republicans to allow the bill introduced by fellow Democrat Senator Mazie Hirono.
"We have added two amendments that will strengthen the bill that are bipartisan - this should not be a partisan issue - and we will vote on the bill on Wednesday. And I dare any senator to vote against this legislation. If they do: Shame on them. Shame on them. Because this is what America is all about."
The chamber last week started debating on the proposal by voting 92 to 6 to advance legislation.
During the press conference, Representative Grace Meng, the Lead House sponsor of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act said this legislation will allow the U.S. government to speed up the review of hate crimes and allow the victims to report incidents more easily through expanded public channels.
She said it will bring a sense of relief to Asian communities.
"People are telling their grandparents and their parents not to go outside. People are telling their children not to go play outside, even though the weather is nice. And it's been over a year of these sorts of feelings and in recent weeks have only increased with our attacks on the elderly and the murders in Atlanta, Georgia."
She said that some three,eight hundred attacks against Asian Americans have been reported since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and said this discrimination and violence must end.
Eum Ji-young, Arirang News.