10 members of President’s Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders resign in protest of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies

Former President Barack Obama dropped by an Asian American & Pacific Islander Initiative (AAPI) meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on March 14, 2011. Image credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

by: Obert Madondo |  | Published February 16, 2017, by The Canadian Progressive

The 20-member President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) has now lost lost more than two thirds of its members. Six commissioners resigned last month.

On Wednesday, 10 more commissioners resigned in protest of President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and widely-document animosity towards persons of colour in the United States.

“Although the Commissioners’ term ends 9/30/17, we can no longer serve a president whose policies aim to create outcomes that are diametrically opposite to our principles, goals, and charge,” the Commissioners stated in their resignation letter to Trump.

In his first week in the White House, Trump signed the  “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” an Executive Order banning Muslims from seven countries from entering the United States. The order also suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days.

Trump also signed two more immigration/refugee-related orders: the “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements”, and the “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”.

In a recent letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deborah Anker, the director of the Harvard Law School, stated that the three Orders were “based on erroneous assumptions about the criminality and extremist tendency of the immigrant population.

The AAPI commissioners’ letter stated: “We object to your portrayal of immigrants, refugees, people of color and people of various faiths as untrustworthy, threatening, and a drain on our nation. We have and will always strive to ensure that America, our America, will never go back to the days of exclusion, segregation, and internment.”

The AAPI was established through an executive order by former President Bill Clinton in 1999. It continued under former presidents Bush and Obama.

The AAPI commissioners’ resignation letter stated that, under the three presidents, “the charge of the Commissioners had been to help the federal government to better serve the AAPIs by engaging our communities, identifying our needs and priorities, and increasing access to government.”

As the video below states, “the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community is the fastest growing and most diverse group in the US.” In the video, former AAPI executive director Kiran Ahuja explains the Initiative’s purpose and mission:

Even more:

The AAPI commissioners’ resignation is another sign of growing resistance to the Trump administration. In January, more than 100 AAPI organizations signed a statement vowing to resist Trump.

According to the statement:

We stand at a critical juncture in world history. The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States represents a direct threat to millions of people’s safety and to the health of the planet…

Mr. Trump’s campaign used explicit racial appeals to win the support of disaffected white voters, promising to restore their economic and social standing by deporting millions of immigrants, building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, creating a Muslim registry, banning Muslim immigration, and punishing Black dissent. He also engaged in deeply misogynistic language and behavior throughout his campaign. He insulted all people of color; people with disabilities; and women – all of whom amount to the majority of America. In the global arena, he has signaled at a new nuclear arms race, promised to expand the use of torture, and disparaged the United Nations.

Read the full statement.

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Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on Twitter: @Obiemad