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Worshippers at Mahayana Buddhist temple in NYC's Chinatown offer prayers for the victims of the Atlanta spa shooting. Photo: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

Asian Americans around the country said they’re alarmed by last night’s mass shooting at several Atlanta-area spas, which shows their extreme vulnerability amid anti-Asian violence that has been building for the past year.

The big picture: The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center collected nearly 3,800 self-reported cases of anti-Asian bias between March 19 last year and Feb. 28.

Driving the news: Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old white man, was charged with murder today after confessing to killing eight people, including six Asian women, in shootings at three spas near Atlanta.

Asian American women are more than twice as likely to report hate incidents as men, according to Stop AAPI Hate.

  • The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University found that anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police in America's largest cities jumped nearly 150% in 2020.
  • Underreporting remains an issue, experts warn.

Between the lines: Center director Brian Levin told Axios the rise in hate crimes against a group jumps based on news events or comments from political leaders.

  • Levin said the center tracked a rise in anti-Asian violence after former President Donald Trump started calling COVID-19 the "China virus."
  • The U.S.'s rivalry with China had already created unease about Chinese Americans and Asian Americans, said sociologist Pawan Dhingra, who specializes in Asian American studies.

What they're saying: “[W]hatever the motivation here I know that Asian Americans are very concerned," President Biden told reporters.

  • "The investigation is ongoing ... But I do want to say to our Asian American community that we stand with you and understand how this has frightened and shocked and outraged all people," Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters.
  • "We've got to do everything we can in terms of addressing bigotry and hate in our country, and violence... Anybody who takes precious lives in that manner is driven by hate," U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) said.

Don't forget: The U.S. has long stereotyped Asian women as objects of white male fantasies in popular culture. Dhingra said because of that history, race can be considered a factor in attacks against Asian sex workers.

  • "If you think about sex work as a moral problem that must be eradicated —because Asian American women do kind of fit a profile of historically being in this role — it's hard to separate race from this even if the motivation wasn't anti-Asian," Dhingra said.

The bottom line: "We are going to see a huge jump in hate crimes against Asian Americans this year," Levin said. "The question is: how big of a record are we going to set?"

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Death toll mounts as fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 109 Palestinians and seven people in Israel have been killed since recent fighting between Israel's military and Hamas began Monday.

The big picture: Israel began massing troops on its border with Gaza on Thursday, launching attacks from the air and ground as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.

Democrats open to user fees for infrastructure deal

President Biden sits Thursday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) as they discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Senate Democrats are open to paying for a compromise infrastructure package by imposing user fees, including increasing the gas tax and raising money from electric car drivers through a vehicle-miles-traveled charge.

Why it matters: By inching toward the Republican position on pay-fors, some Democrats are bucking President Biden's push to offset his proposed $2.3 trillion plan by focusing only on raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.