September 30, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 1, 2017) — KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress, a nonprofit organization that works to ensure that the Filipino American community is represented in the electoral process and governance, on on Wednesday released a statement condemning President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban and made a commitment to ongoing resistance.

We condemn President Trump’s recent unlawful executive orders and actions that demonstrate continuing disregard for constitutional protections against governmental overreach and violate civil and human rights. Recent actions against Muslims, immigrants, refugees, and the proposed actions to expand religious exemptions that will open the door to discrimination against LGBT people will directly affect many of the Filipino American constituencies we work with and the communities in which they live.

We are outraged at Trump’s dismissal of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who refused to defend his unconstitutional executive orders targeting Muslims and refugees because doing so would be inconsistent with her sworn duty to protect the Constitution as the nation’s top legal adviser.

Trump’s firing of Acting Attorney General Yates is the latest effort to squelch dissent across the federal government. Yates’ dismissal was justified on the grounds that Trump felt “betrayed,” as if our nation’s Attorney General’s primary role is to placate Trump’s feelings rather than provide unbiased advice on legal issues. Press Secretary Sean Spicer echoed this refrain earlier, in his efforts to bully civil servants earlier in the day, stating that dissenters “should get with the program or go.”

Sadly, the result of prioritizing Trump’s ego on this issue means the continued exploitation of national security in an effort to marginalize Muslims and refugees. Trump has an opportunity to create meaningful reform to our nation’s broken immigration system. But we believe that such a reform will never be achieved through a racist Muslim and refugee ban that neither fixes immigration system nor makes us any safer.

Trump’s actions so far with the Department of Justice demonstrate his disregard for civil rights and this nomination is further evidence of his willingness to rollback the progress we have made as a country to safeguard against discrimination.  We call on Senate Democrats to continue resisting the nomination of Jeff Sessions, whose long record of racism and xenophobia would make him a perfect match for Trump but a disaster for all Americans.

Kaya will continue to be a voice for Filipino Americans to articulate our resistance against the erosion of civil rights and the rule of law this Administration presents. We will be monitoring Trump’s nominations and executive actions, identifying specific impacts on our communities and mobilizing advocates to act. We call on all Americans to continue opposing this Administration bent on doing anything necessary to jam through unlawful proclamations, silence dissent and protect Trump’s ego.