WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the American Bar Association’s (ABA) adoption of Resolution 514, which calls for Federal, State, local, territorial, and tribal jurisdictions that have not already done so to enact bias-motivated crime legislation to encompass arson, trespass, mischief, harassment, intimidation, and other criminal conduct as predicate acts of hate crimes. This is the first ABA resolution that NAPABA has co-sponsored in its history, and it comes at a critical juncture in the history of our country as the nation confronts the twin scourges of both the pandemic and a precipitous rise in anti-Asian American hate crimes and incidents. “The number of reported hate crimes and incidents represents only the tip of the iceberg,” said NAPABA President A.B. Cruz III and NAPABA Past President Wendy Shiba, who serves as NAPABA’s delegate before the ABA’s House of Delegates, in a joint statement. “Racism, xenophobia, and hate crimes have been on the rise not only against Asian Americans, but against other groups of color and religion as well. This resolution recognizes that we are not alone in our suffering, and that a consistent, nationwide approach to battling bias-motivated crimes and improving the reporting and collection of data about such acts is required.”
The Resolution also urges all jurisdictions to enact civil remedies for victims to recover damages for bias-motivated crimes and urges all jurisdictions to require data collection on bias-motivated crimes and to adequately fund law enforcement best practices, policies, training on data collection, and victim services in response to such crimes. NAPABA extends its gratitude to the ABA’s Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and to all the co-sponsors who have championed adoption of this resolution.
In addition to co-sponsorship of Resolution 514, this session NAPABA also co-sponsored Resolution 102, which urges members of the legal profession to devote at least 20 hours each year to efforts to advance and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession; and Resolution 801, urging support for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, which was launched after the discovery in the United States and Canada of unmarked mass gravesites at boarding schools designed to forcibly assimilate indigenous children. The Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative is designed to investigate, locate, and record such burial sites as well as to study the historical legacy of such schools. NAPABA is grateful to the other co-sponsors and leaders of these important efforts before the ABA House of Delegates, including by NAPABA Past President Jin Y. Hwang, who as NAPABA’s representative to the ABA’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council and Chair of the Council’s Policy Innovation and Resolution Incubator Subcommittee, co-authored and co-shepherded Resolution 102.
|The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.|