MIL-OSI USA: Meng Announces Justice Department’s Updates On Her Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Grace Meng (6th District of New York)

May 20, 2022

Press Release

Congresswoman’s measure, which she introduced with Senator Hirono, was signed into law one year ago today

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) announced the Justice Department’s updates on her COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act that was signed into law one year ago today. The Congresswoman had introduced the measure with U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI). The updates highlight new efforts to bolster hate crimes reporting.  

“I am pleased that the Justice Department has announced updates regarding its implementation of my COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. The progress of this legislation, and now law, has been extremely important to me personally and for millions of Americans across the nation as we look toward recovery from the trauma and hardships of the last two years,” said Meng. “These new provisions will improve our state and local infrastructure for hate crimes reporting, provide guidance to local and state law enforcement agencies on raising awareness about increased hate crimes and incidents, and ensure language is not a barrier to hate crime reporting. I am grateful for the partnership of Attorney General Garland and look forward to working further with the Department of Justice to combat incidents of hate crimes across the U.S.” 

The series of updates the DOJ announced earlier today include:  

  • As is required under the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, the Department of Justice is issuing new guidance with the Department of Health and Human Services aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic, including several steps that law enforcement, government officials, and others can take to raise awareness of increased hate crimes and incidents, and to use increased awareness as a tool for prevention and response. 
  • The Department of Justice is releasing $10 million in grant solicitations for programs to create state-run hate crime reporting hotlines and to support community-based approaches to prevent and address hate crimes. This includes $5 million authorized under the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act Program. 
  • The Department of Justice is also announcing the hire of its first-ever Language Access Coordinator, Ana Paula Noguez Mercado, who will work out of the newly restored Office of Access to Justice. Language access is a key barrier to the reporting of hate crimes, and the Language Access Coordinator will help improve knowledge, use, and expansion of the department’s language resources.

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