WASHINGTON — Members of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) stand together on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 to remember the tremendous loss of life that occurred on that day and to recommit ourselves to fundamental American values of civil rights, inclusion, and diversity.
We mourn and honor all of the victims of 9/11, including Americans of many races, ethnicities, and religions, who perished in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC, and the first responders who sacrificed their lives.
We also remember all the people impacted by the events following 9/11. In the months and years post-9/11, hate crimes against Muslims, Arab Americans and anyone who appeared Muslim or Arab American, including Sikhs and other South Asians, skyrocketed. Government policies, including National Security Entry Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which required non-immigrants from Arab, South Asian and Muslim-majority countries to register at ports of entry and within the U.S., unjustly targeted these communities.
These policies share a striking resemblance to Executive Order 9066, which ordered all Americans of Japanese descent into internment camps during World War II. While public safety and national security are essential for the well-being of all Americans, ineffective policies in the name of counterterrorism and immigration enforcement that rely solely on racial and other discriminatory profiling, only create communities that are less safe and more fearful.
As a diverse coalition of 29 national Asian Pacific American organizations, we honor the tenth anniversary of 9/11 by recommitting ourselves to protecting the fundamental rights of all Americans to be free from violence, bias and hate, and to be treated with fairness and due process. We call on our fellow advocates and government leaders at every level to work together towards building a fair and equitable society.