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National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Responds to President Trump’s Address to Joint Session of Congress

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) National Director Christopher Kang issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s address to Congress:

Tonight, President Trump’s address started with an essential response to recent hate crimes, including the shooting in Olathe, Kansas, that targeted two Indian Americans and repeated anti-Semitic threats and vandalism:  “We are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

Although the president then promised a message of unity, he delivered more of the same anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies that seek to divide us. He declared that America must put its citizens first—relegating immigrants and refugees to second-class status—and repeatedly attacked immigrants as a drain on our economy and a source of increased crime, despite overwhelming evidence that both of these claims are lies. While the president spoke of keeping Americans safe, he continued to promote his administration’s inhumane immigration enforcement policies that only generate more fear in our communities. He also continued to fuel Islamophobia by declaring that we must “protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism”—language his own National Security Advisor has repudiated.

We also oppose many of the president’s policy proposals—in particular his effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would strip millions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders of their health insurance and vital health care services, and his Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, whose record is outside the mainstream and all too often favors corporations over ordinary Americans.

If the president truly seeks unity and strength, he must address the needs of all Americans, which includes basic human dignity and promoting civil rights for all. We urge him to heed his own words, so that “America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears.

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Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 34 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.

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