Today, the White House released a video message from President Obama welcoming the Lunar New Year:
Echoing the President’s message, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs send our best wishes to all those celebrating the Lunar New Year.
During this time, we reflect on the strength and diversity of the AAPI community and its contributions to the very fabric of this great nation. This is a time to remind ourselves that we are a nation of immigrants, who have contributed not only rich cultures and traditions, but also perseverance and shared hope in helping build this country for future generations.
Our shared AAPI heritage spans from immigrants to refugees to native people. Through hard work and perseverance, AAPIs have contributed to this country as business owners, students, laborers, educators, and workers from all fields.
We are built on the belief that in this great country, anyone can make it if they try. That’s why it is more important than ever that we reform our broken immigration system to one that expands voices and opportunities for all.
Whether you are celebrating the Year of the Ram, the Year of the Sheep, or the Year of the Goat, we hope that all of us can pursue opportunity and success. We wish you and your loved ones happiness, prosperity, and good health and fortune.
Below is the transcript of the President’s video message:
Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year here in America and all around the world. I’ll always remember the parades, fireworks, and gatherings that surrounded the Lunar New Year when I was growing up in Hawaii. And now as President, this celebration is a perfect reminder of the many cultures and faiths that make us who we are as Americans.
We are a nation of immigrants. Our vast array of traditions and perspectives and backgrounds – our melting pot – is what makes America unique. It’s what keeps us fresh and dynamic and entrepreneurial. That’s why last year, I took action to help fix our broken immigration system. But our work isn’t finished. We’ve still got to come together to pass a comprehensive immigration bill so that we can expand opportunities for more people to study, and serve, and contribute to our nation. Those are the aspirations that have attracted families to our shores for generations. And that story continues today. So whether you’re celebrating the Year of the Ram, the Year of the Goat, or the Year of the Sheep, may we all do our part to carry forward the work of perfecting this country that we love.
Happy New Year, everybody.
Dr. Tung Nguyen is Chair of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.