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Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

26 governors and more than 60 former officials denounced bias and discrimination against Asian people Friday, saying, "hate will not divide our states, territories, and communities."

Driving the news: The statements come amid a nationwide day of action following March 16's deadly shooting in Atlanta, in which eight people including six Asian women were killed, and a yearlong surge of anti-Asian hate crimes fueled by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Hate crimes reported to law enforcement against Asian people in America's largest cities jumped nearly 150% in 2020, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University

What they're saying: "From the Chinese Exclusion Act to the incarceration of Japanese Americans in World War II to the mistreatment of Muslims and Sikhs after 9/11, this year is part of a history of racism against the Asian American community," the governors' statement read.

  • "Today, and every day, we stand in solidarity, in support, and in shared resolve with the Asian American community."
  • Two Republicans — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker — joined 23 Democratic colleagues and the governor of Guam in signing the letter.

More than 60 Asian American and Pacific Islanders who served in senior roles across six presidential administrations released a separate letter Friday calling for action against Asian bias.

  • "For centuries, AAPIs have contributed much to the vibrancy and success of this country. Yet we are sometimes still seen as 'the foreigner' or 'less American' and treated as the 'other,'" the letter read.
  • They called on political leaders to denounce anti-Asian attacks, work with law enforcement to protect the community and pass legislation that will better support the community’s needs.
  • Signees include former secretaries of Commerce Gary Locke and Norman Mineta, former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.

The big picture: AAPI lawmakers, led by chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Rep. Judy Chu, on Friday held a Facebook Live conversation as part of the National Day of Action to Stop Asian Hate.

Go deeper: Over 183 organizations join AAPI groups' call for $300M to address anti-Asian violence

Go deeper

Asian Americans are underrepresented in law enforcement

An Asian American police officer walks through New York's Chinatown during an annual parade on Feb. 17, 2019. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Asian Americans make up only about 2% of the nation's law enforcement officers — an underrepresentation that ripples through small towns and major cities.

Why it matters: The consequences have been amplified over the past year, as violence and acts of racism grew against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Now, law enforcement agencies are facing criticism for not adequately reporting hate crimes and not having enough Asian American officers on staff to to adequately investigate cases.

5 questions we’d like to ask Biden

President-elect Joe Biden listens to a reporter's question during his last formal news conference on Jan. 8. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will hold a presser Thursday afternoon.

Why it matters: It is Biden's first formal news conference of his presidency.

Mar 26, 2021 - Podcasts

President Biden meets the press

President Biden gave his first news conference yesterday, where he emphasized what he's accomplished but was pressed on what he hasn't.

  • Plus, all votes have been counted in Israel's election, leaving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc just short of a 61-seat majority in the Israeli Knesset.
  • And, the history of hate crimes against Asian Americans in the U.S.

Guests: Karthick Ramakrishnan, professor of public policy and political science at the University of California, Riverside, and Axios' Margaret Talev and Barak Ravid.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Dan Bobkoff, Justin Kaufmann, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin, Alice Wilder, and Alex Sugiura. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com.

Go deeper: