WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 31, 2017) — The AAPI Victory Fund held a press conference Jan. 31 with Members of Congress and Indian American leaders at the National Press Club to condemn the Trump administration’s immigration executive orders. On behalf of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community representing a diversity of faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds, speakers stood together in opposing these discriminatory executive orders.
Video of the press conference is available here: http://tinyurl.com/AAPI-
“As the most senior Indian American Member of Congress, I believe that Donald Trump’s executive order does not reflect who we are as Americans,” said Rep. Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-7). “The actions of the Republican Hindu Coalition today do not reflect the breadth and diversity of the Indian American community, or our diaspora. Prior to 1965, it was very difficult for people of Indian origin to immigrate to the United States, and this order takes us backwards toward that dark time. That’s why I’m fighting back, and today sponsored the SOLVe Act to repeal this discriminatory executive order.”
“I was elected to help unify our country. This executive order from President Trump is an assault on our Constitution; it hurts working families; and it only serves to divide Americans, not unify them,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8). “It is no longer time to agonize but to organize. It is time to do everything we can to oppose this executive order.”
“It is unthinkable that this country, which welcomed me when I arrived at 16 years old, would so boldly, defiantly and barbarically turn its back on immigrants and refugees,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7). “Let us be clear that President Trump came into office by demonizing and ‘otherizing’ immigrants and refugees. While we had hoped that perhaps he would move from being a divisive candidate to being a unifying President, he is failing us. I call on our communities to condemn and resist these executive orders.”
“The temporary ban in the executive order is not constitutional,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17). “We cannot allow policies to exist that are not consistent with our founding ideals and values. I swore in on the Constitution, and will always stand up for Constitutional principles.”
“This executive order does not make us safer; it imposes the most severe of burdens on the most vulnerable among us,” said Nisha Desai Biswal, former Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. “To single out people because of their nationality or their faith is unethical. It goes against our responsibilities from the Geneva Conventions and poses an unjust, un-American and what we believe to be an unconstitutional ban on immigrants and refugees.”
“I believe this executive order will not only be ineffective, it will be counterproductive,” said Manpreet Singh Anand, former Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. “National security cooperation, partnership and building trust with other countries in our efforts. This executive order will not achieve its intended policy outcomes. By not including interagency government professionals, the order was horribly executed and will end up being unlawful as well as alienate our partners. Executive orders like this one will be counterproductive to the very national security goals that it purports to achieve.”
“We cannot allow ourselves to be divided by this un-American executive order. It is a stain on our history, just like slavery, internment and denial or voting rights,” said Shekar Narasimhan, chair of the AAPI Victory Fund. “Americans confronted and overcame these challenges and we will do the same here. We unite and call on our Members of Congress to deny President Trump the funds to carry out these unlawful executive orders.”
The press conference precedes the Republican Hindu Coalition’s announcement of support for President Trump’s immigration ban tomorrow and shows that the RHC does not at all represent the views of the American Hindu and Muslim community.