March 24, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 18, 2016) — OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is appalled with the proposal for an ideological ‘immigration questionnaire.’
Recently, a proposal was given on the presidential campaign trail that would institute a series of questionnaires, interviews, and investigations into the lives of potential new immigrants to the United States. These are supposedly designed to test the ideologies of new immigrants and their adherence to ‘American values’.
“Ideological tests and bold-faced discrimination in visa applications based on national origin would lead to undue harm to aspiring Americans and widespread discrimination and abuse in the immigration process,” said Leslie Moe-Kaiser, OCA National President. “These tests would open the door to discrimination against new immigrants along political lines, a practice that would be distinctly undemocratic.”
“Of particular concern is the appeal to ‘American values’, a concept that has always necessarily been fluid so that our nation may pursue greater justice,” continued Moe-Kaiser. “At many times in our history, an appeal to ‘American values’ has been used to isolate and bar certain groups of people from full participation in society. Of particular note are the unlawful Chinese Exclusion Act and Japanese incarceration during WWII, when most of the larger society believed that the ‘values’ of these two groups differed greatly from the larger American public. Security is important in the times we live in, but we do not improve security by sacrificing the ideological and intellectual freedom that underpins our democracy.”

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