WASHINGTON, D.C. – In light of the recent resignation of over two-thirds of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) sent a letter to President Trump requesting that he meet with Members of CAPAC. This follows a letter that Chair Chu sent on November 23, 2016 to then President-elect Donald Trump requesting that he meet with the Caucus to discuss pertinent issues impacting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. To date, CAPAC has not received a response regarding either meeting request.
“Since its inception, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus has engaged with both Democratic and Republican presidents to discuss issues of importance to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” said Rep. Judy Chu. “These meetings have led to greater understanding of the issues impacting our communities and opened lines of communication to address these problems. It is disappointing that our request to meet with President Trump has been ignored for so long. As the fastest growing racial population in the country, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a myriad of priorities that they would like to raise with the President – from the Muslim travel ban to the need to fix our broken immigration system. If President Trump is sincere about working to create unity in our country, I urge him to meet with CAPAC and work with us to address the diverse issues impacting the millions of Americans that we represent.”
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear President Trump:
On behalf of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), I would like to request a meeting to discuss pertinent issues affecting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. With the recent resignation of over two-thirds of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the AAPI community has major concerns regarding how your Administration will address a number of pertinent issues impacting our communities.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Asian Americans are now the fastest growing racial population in the country and account for over 20 million Americans. In addition, more immigrants now come from the Asia-Pacific region than from anywhere else in the world. Despite the prevailing myth that AAPIs are a highly successful “model minority,” our community faces significant unmet needs. At the peak of the Great Recession, AAPI homeownership rates dropped more than any other population and the percentage of AAPIs living in poverty increased by 38 percent. Marshallese Americans and Tongan Americans have an unemployment rate that is nearly double the national average, and AAPIs as a whole have among the highest long-term unemployment rates of any racial group. Nearly 40 percent of Cambodian Americans, Laotian Americans, and Hmong Americans do not have a high school diploma. Additionally, over half of all Americans who suffer from chronic Hepatitis B infection, the leading cause of liver cancer and failure, are AAPI.
CAPAC was founded in 1994 to address these issues and to serve as the leading voice for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community at the federal level. Our Caucus is currently composed of 50 Members of Congress, including Members of Asian or Pacific Islander descent, representatives from the U.S. territories, and Members who represent large AAPI constituencies. Together, CAPAC works to establish legislation and policies that address the needs of the AAPI community and works to advance the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans.
CAPAC has been proud to work with prior Republican and Democratic Administrations on significant accomplishments that are vital to both our community and our country. Our districts are both urban and rural and span from the U.S. territories in the Pacific to the East Coast. We encourage you to use the expertise of our Caucus as you work on policies impacting the AAPI community.
Thank you for your time and consideration, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Member of Congress
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.