WASHINGTON (Feb. 12, 2013) — The Asian American Center for Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), Asian American Institute (AAI), Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), Asian Law Caucus (ALC), and Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), is a non-profit, non-partisan affiliation representing the Asian American and Pacific Islander community on civil and human rights, all issued the statements in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Mee Moua, president and executive director, Asian American Justice Center said that President Obama’s State of the Union address emphasized his top priorities for strengthening our economy, investing in the middle class and creating new opportunities for all Americans.
“We applaud the president’s vision for passing a commonsense solution to fix our broken immigration system,” Moua said. “We support his call to keep our communities safe — communities such as Oak Creek and Newtown. In 2012, Asian Americans overwhelmingly voted for bipartisan solutions, and AAJC looks forward to working with the president and Congress on real solutions that reduce our deficit, rebuild our economy and create jobs in infrastructure and renewable energy.”
Tuyet Le, executive director, Asian American Institute, said President Obama’s State of the Union address is welcomed and appreciated for its thematic focus on opportunity for all.
“As the president laid out the policy implications of his goal for middle class advancement, immigration will undoubtedly play an important role. Immigrants are the history, the present, and the future of America,” Le said. “AAI encourages Congress and the President to address immigration reform fully, and lay out a plan that responsibly keeps families together, produces a pathway to citizenship and reduces administrative backlogs and wait times.
“The president’s address sets the tone for the year, and we are excited about the emphasis he placed on immigration. It clearly has an important economic, social and cultural impact,” Le added. “There is a great deal of work that needs to be done, and we’re looking forward to bringing the Asian American community’s perspective and needs to this debate.”
Hyeon-Ju Rho, executive director, Asian Law Caucus, said that Asian Americans have been deeply impacted by the recession, and in California, the number living below the poverty line increased by 50 percent between 2006 and 2010.
“Yet our community and other communities of color were critical in President Obama’s historic reelection,” Hyeon said. “We call upon the President to strengthen the economy and implement policies that provide opportunity for all, including immigrant and working class communities.”
Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, said that the address was welcomed by the fastest growing racial group in the United States, and one that is nearly two-thirds immigrant.
“The Asian American and Pacific Islander community welcomes President Obama’s commitment to fixing the broken immigration system,” Kwoh said. “In the recent November 2012 election, approximately 82 percent of Asian American voters in California said that immigration played an important role in how they viewed presidential candidates.
“We look forward to working with the President and Congress in the next several months to ensure that broad, humane immigration reform reflects the diverse needs and concerns of our rapidly growing community,” Kwoh added.
The Asian American Center for Advancing Justice (www.advancingjustice.org) works to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities, and is comprised of the Asian American Justice Center (www.advancingequality.org), the Asian American Institute (www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus (www.asianlawcaucus.org) and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (www.apalc.org).