WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 17, 2017) — Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (NY-14) on Friday sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, requesting that he meet with CAPAC to discuss pertinent issues impacting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The letter follows a House Democratic Caucus meeting hosted earlier today during which the Secretary committed to meeting with CAPAC members. CAPAC Leaders and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Crowley released the following statements:
U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:
“It is clear that President Trump’s recent executive orders targeting immigrants, Muslims, and refugees have negatively impacted Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and caused widespread fear in our communities. Asians account for 14 percent of the undocumented in this country, and four out of the five countries with the largest Muslim populations in the world are in Asia. AAPIs across our country are anxious and have grave concerns with the Muslim Ban 2.0 and the Trump Administration’s new immigration enforcement actions.
“Not only are policies like the heightened ICE raids and Muslim Ban separating families, but they are also fueling widespread discrimination and contributing to the dangerous political rhetoric and hate violence targeting South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, and Middle Eastern communities.
“This is why during the House Democratic Caucus meeting today, I asked Secretary Kelly to meet with CAPAC members to discuss our critical concerns. I am glad that Secretary Kelly committed to doing so. We in CAPAC look forward to meeting with him to get the answers we need to ensure that AAPIs – and all Americans – can live safely and without fear in our country.”
U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (NY-14), Chair of the House Democratic Caucus:
“Democratic Members of Congress have serious and detailed questions for the Department of Homeland Security. While we do appreciate that Secretary Kelly took the time to meet with the caucus today, more interactions and briefings are critically needed. Secretary Kelly should quickly follow through on his promise to meet with lawmakers and schedule a meeting with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.”
U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), CAPAC Immigration Task Force Chair:
“While I appreciate that Secretary Kelly came to the House Democratic Caucus meeting, we still need clearer answers from him on policy. Since February, I have written the Secretary five letters—one received only a standard form response, while the other four went unanswered completely. I am pleased that the Secretary told me he would meet with CAPAC to continue our discussion about detention, immigration enforcement, the Muslim Ban and oversight of ICE and CBP. In order for members of Congress to provide adequate oversight to the agencies that we are tasked with protecting, we will need regular engagement and responses to our questions and concerns. I look forward to a more detailed conversation very soon on these serious issues.”
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Secretary Kelly:
Thank you for meeting with the House Democratic Caucus earlier today to discuss pertinent issues impacting our diverse constituencies. On behalf of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), we are writing to follow-up on your commitment to meet with our Caucus to discuss President Trump’s immigration executive orders and travel ban. We hope to share the views of our nation’s rapidly growing Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population and to confer about the Department’s immigration, national security, and border and interior enforcement efforts. This includes concerns regarding racial and religious profiling by agents within your Department, immigration raids that have torn families apart, and President Trump’s revised travel ban targeting Muslim and refugee communities.
CAPAC was founded in 1994 and is composed of 50 Members of Congress, including Members who are of Asian or Pacific Islander descent and those who represent large AAPI constituencies. CAPAC works to ensure that legislation and federal policies include the perspectives of the AAPI community and address their needs and concerns. Our Caucus is fully committed to protecting and advancing the civil and constitutional rights of minority communities and all Americans.
We hope you will honor your pledge to attend one of our upcoming CAPAC meetings to dialogue on crucial policies and actions taken by your Department. Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
House Democratic Caucus Chair
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.