LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – President Joe Biden signed a new bill on Thursday aimed at tackling hate crimes against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was followed. I was spat on. I’ve been referred to as numerous arches, ”said UNLV student Ava Carino.
When the coronavirus spread in the US last year, Carino said someone attacked her just because she is Asian.
“It scared me,” she shared.
Carino is Filipino American and she says she has never experienced this type of racism and discrimination in her life. But since that encounter last year, she has seen a wave of hate crimes against Asians across the country.
“Another Asian American was attacked or killed on the street and when I heard this from my grandparents, when I heard it on the news, it was like this was going to stop,” Carino said.
Biden’s COVID-19 hate crime law aims to speed hate crime review, facilitate reporting and expand public awareness campaigns.
“I think we are going in the right direction,” said Carino in response to the new measure.
Executives in the Las Vegas Asian community say they are now working to see what exactly the law will look like in practice.
“We need to have a good plan,” said Sonny Vinuya, president of the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce and commissioner of the AAPI Community Commission in Clark County. “For example, we talked about a hotline. We may have talked about counseling; We talked about education. All of these things matter, but we need to come up with a good plan. “
Carino is cautiously optimistic.
“Although this law has been signed, we still have a long way to go,” she said.
Carino adds that speaking out about the embedded racism that Asian Americans endure will be important for communities here in Las Vegas and across the country.