By Ed Diokno
Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders came from all parts of the country to greet and show their support for Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President.
Clinton launched Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) for Hillary alongside Rep. Judy Chu and dozens of AAPI elected officials and community leaders from across the nation Thursday in San Gabriel, California.
“I know how important family is to all of you,” she told her supporters, “And that’s how I see our country. I see us, when we’re at our best, as lifting up families, helping families to be strong, helping families get the support they need to do the best they can for their children and for their parents. And I’ve said in this campaign, the stakes are very high.”
“And I also want to do what I can as President to help deal with the problems that keep families up at night,” she said. “Sometimes it’s an illness. Sometimes it’s a real risk with a job or a small business. Sometimes it’s the difficulty of affording college. I know about a lot of these problems and I hear from so many people across our country.
She said she disagrees with Donald Trump and the other Republican candidates who are calling for restrictions for immigrants and refugees.
“Being an open and tolerant society does not make us vulnerable — it’s at the core of our strength of who we care in America.
“This is a lesson we would never dare to forget,” said Clinton. “We are a country built by the hard work of generations of immigrants and we are stronger because of our diversity and our openness.
“I know how hard people are working so let’s make it easier to balance work and family. That’s especially true for parents of young children. We’ve got to join the rest of the world by guaranteeing paid family leave. But it’s also true for people who are taking care of their aging parents, isn’t it. As a nation, we are not valuing and supporting family caregivers the way we should.
“So here’s what I am proposing. A new tax credit to help defray costs for people taking care of an older relative,” drawing applause.
Immigration, she said, is a family issue. “That’s why I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to full and equal citizenship.
“That’s why you can count on me to defend President Obama’s executive actions on DACA and DAPA.
“And I would go even further. There are so many more undocumented people with deep ties in their communities who deserve the chance to stay. I will fight for them, too.”
Although the AAPI community is relatively small, in certain battleground states such as Nevada, Virginia and Florida, their votes could determine the outcome of elections.
It would be a mistake to view AAPI as a voting bloc but studies have shown that Asian Americans tend to vote Democratic and are more likely to identify themselves as liberal.
The high-profile AAPI leaders who attended the launch was impressive. They included:
Rep. Sablan from the North Mariana Islands; Norm Mineta, Former Secretary of Transportation and Commerce; John Chung, California State Treasurer; Fiona Ma, Board of Equalization; Irene Bueno, former Clinton administration special assistant to Chief of Staff’s office; Trung Ta, the Founding Chairman of the Vietnamese American Democratic Club;Jason Pu, the Mayor of San Gabriel.
“It’s important for Hillary’s campaign to recognize, that in California at least, our voice actually counts,” said Daly City Councilman Mike Guingona.