Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono discusses new book which serves as tribute to her mother

ABC News’ Linsey Davis speaks with Sen. Mazie Hirono about legislation directed to stem attacks against the AAPI community and her new book, “Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter’s Story.”
7:31 | 04/20/21

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Transcript for Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono discusses new book which serves as tribute to her mother
Senator Mazie Hirono Hawaii is known as a fierce advocate in congress say Kelso via sharp tongued critic as well as the only immigrants serving in the senate in the first Asian American woman. Pro credits who she is today to her mother Laura who escaped an abusive marriage in Japan and fled to the United States with her young children. Senator Carano shares her mother's journey to freedom and her homes in the halls of power in congress in her new memoir. Part of fire an immigrant daughter's story senator her run of thank you so much for joining us. First please accept my condolences on the death of your mother who passed away just two weeks ago and 96 years old. This book use of pick your agency head of the book is certainly beautiful tribute to her life. And we'll get to your book in in a few minutes but the first I would just like says to talk about it a few other matters. You've sponsored legislation called the cove at nineteen hate crimes act to address the sharp increase in violent crime against the API community. First six lane that what the bill does in Ann are you confident it'll pass when it comes up for a full senate vote this week. Electricity procedural burial for the bill 92 votes on the sentence that was heard by arson police reported my hope is that the SE proceed you know conceded to get that parents or because. They condemnation of these kinds of unprovoked attacks if you (%expletive) beat one then all of us should take that position on. This is pretty simple bill that nearly r.s major general took. Point 8% to know. Expeditiously ease these kinds of crimes to work with state and local law enforcement. And then a community activists to get the word. An appropriate languages you languages. To get the word out that these kinds of crimes and incidents of the important and that we will have a death database. Which GAT chairman and what else should be done. He recently said that you no longer even take walks with your ear buds in because you fear for your own safety. Talk to us about the impact of these many hate crimes are on the API community have had on youths and do you have any concern it'll be harder to change racist attitudes that will be to change laws. 107 we changed alone stacked up. They outages who have followed but so what we know that that's not going to be a simple matter because bases of the sever our spiel as her present our country. Yes I can't think of a single. Eight yeah hackers and especially on the mainland here who has not. Pet cause. Before walking around is certainly I would not walk around with right here buttons on listening to the audio tapes anymore Leone to be very aware. Our surroundings. And I hear. From constituents and others about the kind ski. Hateful speech. I just heard program IE them. Employees that he himself witness states at a restaurant at tigris drought where a customer lists. This basically streaming. Down to hurry up with their order and calling it the only people who. There are all kinds of racist names. It was a great truck too fast so these kinds of dissidents at her part of Britain frequently and I hope that by congress and the senate and outstanding up. And passing this though that we will be. Today. To eighty Shiite community and our country. That we are going to stand against this kind. Discriminatory. Hatred at any group directed at any group. Wright has essentially saying enough. I'd like to turn back to your book let's go back to that your mother brought you in your brother to Hawaii wind. You were to seven years old and eventually save enough money to bring your younger brother in your grandparents to the United States she worked. Too low paying jobs to support the six of you. Those early years like and what did you learn from those typical times. Linda my mother went to varying courageous risks to take care. Boot completely changed my life by bringing each in this country to which of course I have absolutely no idea. Wear it Hawaii he was or America. And I and I I grew up on rice farming grandparents rights farm. In Japan so to watch my mother worked so hard and that hasn't sodium and aircraft at least my grandparents had to be sponsored by eight. And another couple because my mother didn't have made a kind of money to others support them. And so as there's so many American families they are right that this country and that everybody worked my grandparents her grandmother worked. My brother started work pretty young. And we all worked best immigrant experience for on how to immigrants in this country. At this or. And despite growing up porridge you say you write that you also have a stable home life some good education in your mother's high expectations. Which allowed you to go to college and on to law school alternately chilling the American dream essentially in its. Been around fifty years since you went to college do you believe that the American dream for immigrants is still possible today in and what are the biggest obstacles that you see. America calls stood immigrants like me because we're the country and its possibilities. That is they sent my mother actually change my life by bringing me here Brit never asked. That kind of education opportunities and other. Opportunities that I had although it again nothing is standards yet. Any immigrant group or rented by the way women should pass a special challenge is running for office now. Pretty male dominated kind of political environment. He. But not. America Melissa from is still and we now have a president who lasted. A humane immigration policy. Happening. Yeah basically inherit FAA. Totally dismantled. In humane immigration policy so it's going to take us well exactly Joseph Biden and his initiation you know while. To get back to the kind of immigration policy that I would and some. Or. Get one team is throughout your book is your reticence to speak up for yourself especially around men some of whom treating you very poorly you attribute this to the cultural expectations. Of the time. How did you come into your home in and find your own voice and a very strong one at that. I don't know isn't it a determined person but to in the culture or that guy it was then that being vocal aggressive. Confrontational as predicted they reward and that even now and the ability this environmental women's voices. Heard often enough. It isn't really chump. Trauma becoming the president and the big goalie Eddie was set so able to. My desire just stand up to him and it became much more I'll call. But still yeah I was always written any arrows I was leery about Ernst and he rang out just an active eat that. Noisy about it until he can no longer does so bullying. Tactics and end here is. Mindless cruelty. He decided to speak up and claim your voice thank you so much senator Mazie Hirono. Her new book cart a fire an immigrant daughter's story is out tomorrow where ever books are sold senator thank you so much for your time appreciate it. Thank you and Loma.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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