[Editor’s note: The following statement was issued by Sarah Baker, JACL VP Public Affairs and Matthew Weisbly, JACL Education & Communications coordinator, and was lightly edited to adhere to AP Style and other journalistic conventions.]
Yesterday, President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address, in which he called for bipartisanship and support for Ukraine.
We applaud President Biden and his team for signing 80 bipartisan bills into law last year, including the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). We extend our appreciation for his commitment to “protecting Asian-Americans from still-too-common hate crimes,” and we look forward to continuing our work to monitor and ensure that elements of the Hate Crimes Act are implemented to best support and protect our Asian Pacific American communities.
Japanese Americans have a long tradition of service to our country, most notably during WWII when Japanese American men served while their families remained incarcerated in American concentration camps. We praise President Biden’s pledge to provide comprehensive health care and benefits to veterans. Every veteran deserves the highest quality care, and we as a nation have too long neglected fulfilling this promise. Just as so many veterans struggle with mental health, so too have many more Americans due to the Covid pandemic, particularly children. We join the Biden administration in its efforts to address the mental health pandemic that has accompanied Covid and affected our most vulnerable populations disproportionately.