HomeAsian AmericansLegislators, Community Reacts to Trump's Proposed Ban on Immigration from the Philippines

Legislators, Community Reacts to Trump’s Proposed Ban on Immigration from the Philippines

Donald Trump in Reno
By Darron Birgenheier from Reno, NV, USA (Donald Trump in Reno, Nevada) via Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump’s proposed ban on immigration from the Philippines continues to reverberate through the Asian American community drawing sharp reactions from members of Congress and the Filipino American community.

Several members of Congress issued the following statements:
Congressman Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley):
Build a wall. Ban Muslims. Now: ban Filipinos. It’s another ignorant idea from the racist bully who claims he’ll make America great again. America is already great without your ideas.
During World War Two, Filipino soldiers answered President Roosevelt’s call to action, and fought bravely, and without hesitation, beside our U.S. servicemen, and under the U.S. flag. Clearly, this kind of bravery is inconceivable to this ignoramus. I’ve been fighting for decades for these Filipino veterans to get their due respect, to be reunited with their U.S. family members, and to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. Their sacrifice and service, like everyone of our servicemen, must be revered, not renounced.
Our nation thrives on diversity, community and respect, not division, fear and intolerance. This hateful rhetoric is what led my family and I to be interned. It takes political courage to stand up to fear, and this latest idea exemplifies the ultimate political cowardice.
Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA):
Donald Trump has now expanded his bigoted attacks to include Asian Pacific Americans. Trump announced at a rally in Maine that he is increasing his ban on Muslims to include legal immigrants from “terrorist nations.” Some of the examples he cites include legal immigrants from the Philippines and Pakistan.
As an immigrant from the Asia Pacific region, I find Trump’s newly expanded proposal even more offensive. But it is more than just offensive, it is dangerous. Trump’s racist thinking—“there’s no way of vetting” legal immigrants—is exactly the thinking that caused one of the darkest periods in American history: the internment of over 100,000 Americans because they happened to be of Japanese descent. (And for the record, Trump has stated he might have supported the internment).
Trump’s expanded xenophobic proposal also weakens US national security. America is strong because of our diversity not in spite of it. Having served on active duty, I know that our military is the greatest in the world because we don’t care what color you are, who you love, or what religion you practice. We just care if you can do your duty to our nation with excellence.

Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims dishonored America. By now doubling down and expanding that proposal to include Asian Pacific Americans, Trump again shows that he is unfit to hold the highest office in our land. Trump should have apologized to Muslim Americans long ago. Now he needs to also apologize to Asian Pacific Americans.

RELATED: Trump would limit immigration from the Philippines

#IAmNotAnAnimal: Filipino American Anger Mounts at Trump’s Ban on Filipino Immigrants

Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam)
Today, I issued the following statement strongly condemning remarks by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump in which he renewed his call for a ban on Muslims entering the country and suggested imposing immigration restrictions on several countries, including the Philippines.
I strongly condemn the most recent reckless comments from Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. In a speech the other day in Maine, he renewed his call for a ban on Muslims and immigration restrictions from a number of countries across the globe, including the Philippines. His comment about banning immigration from the Philippines is reckless and yet another example of why he is not qualified to be our next President. He simply does not understand international relations, or basic facts, nor does he have the temperament to be President.
The Filipino community has made and continues to make contributions to our island and the United States, and serve honorably in the military. Moreover, the Philippines has been a strong partner in counterterrorism operations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. In fact, many experts have pointed to the joint US-Philippine counterterrorism efforts as a model for how to conduct other counterterrorism efforts worldwide. These comments could certainly undermine and jeopardize ongoing US-Philippines counterterrorism efforts. Apparently Presidential candidate Donald Trump wasn’t briefed, or didn’t care to learn, basic facts or any of these salient details. While I have criticized his comments in the past as not being consistent with our culture, these comments go too far. Filipinos are an integral part of our community, and I denounce these recent ridiculous comments. We cannot and we will not ban immigration from the Philippines, a long-time ally and important partner in combating global terrorism. It won’t make us safer and his proposal is simply un-American.
Sadly, Republican leaders on Guam remain silent on this issue. They have refused to denounce their Presidential candidate especially in light of his comments about the Philippines and the broader Filipino community. They should take the lead of other Republicans across the country like Rep. Richard Hanna of New York and Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado in denouncing Donald Trump or going so far as to support Hillary Clinton. I join Senator Nerissa Underwood and urge Guam Republicans to unendorsed Donald Trump and stand with our broader Guam community against these reckless comments.
Rolando Lavarro, Council President, City of Jersey City
First, Donald Trump lied that there were thousands of Muslims dancing on rooftops in Jersey City on 9/11. He promises to build a wall to keep out Mexicans whom he referred to as criminals, drug dealers, and rapists. He wants to stop refugees yearning to breathe free from coming to our teeming shores. He tramples on the grave of Army Capt. Humayun Khan and insults the hero’s family when he calls for a ban on all Muslims. Now, he suggests we should ban immigration from the Philippines. There is simply no end to Trump’s inanities.
As the son of Filipino immigrants, and on behalf of my elders, my manongs and manangs, I am appalled by the outrageous comments of this racist bully. He disregards the countless contributions that Filipino Americans have made to the United States of America, particularly Filipino World War II veterans who fought and died bravely to preserve our freedom and American way of life. He ignores the families and loved ones of those veterans who are applying for citizenship via the current parole program. Once again, Trump puts an exclamation point on his ignorance as he disregards over a century of relations between the U.S. and the Philippines, a country that has been and continues to be one of our nation’s closest allies in that region.
Trump’s temperament and bigotry is not befitting of a President. These latest comments are an insult to the 17,000 Filipino Americans residing in Jersey City, 110,000 living in New Jersey, and over 2.6 million across the country. All good people should be outraged by Trump’s hateful and divisive rhetoric.
We should channel our outrage positively and reject Trump’s prejudiced and erratic way of governing when we vote for the next leader of the greatest nation in the world. On Tuesday, November 8, elect Hillary Clinton, a leader with a world view that appreciates diversity and knows we are stronger when we’re together.
Aries Dela Cruz, Filipino Americans for Hillary National Leadership Council – New York:

Donald Trump’s call for the United States to ban immigrants from the Philippines should disturb Filipino Americans and Asian Americans who are thinking of voting for him. His reckless statements do not embody our values as New Yorkers and as Americans, and shows our community that we must stand together to make sure that he does not become president. Filipinos, who make up the second largest Asian American population in this country, have always been in America, long before this nation was established. We contribute significantly to this country’s healthcare, military and education systems, among many other notable and historic accomplishments. While Donald Trump and the GOP attack Filipinos with divisive and harmful rhetoric, the Democratic Party has enshrined and honored us in their party’s platform with the inclusion of Filipino American labor leader Larry Itliong among the warriors for social and economic justice. Our choice in November could not be more clear: We need to elect Hillary Clinton to be our president and commander-in-chief.”

Margie Llorente Gonzales, Filipino Americans for Hillary National Leadership Council – Nevada

Trump blamed an intern for feeding him wrong info about the Philippines. It only proved even further that he does not know anything about the Philippines and Filipinos. He does not care about us at all. Attention, Fil-Am voters!

Kevin M. Acebo, Filipino Americans for Hillary National Leadership Council – California:
The Trump agenda reminds me what the great Pilipino American author, Carlos Bulosan, wrote about during the struggles of our Manongs in the agriculture fields my Golden State in the 1930’s: “I came to know that in many ways it was a crime to be Filipino in California…I feel like a criminal running away from a crime I did not commit. And this crime is that I am a Filipino in America.” What Trump is blind to see as Bulosan also writes: “America is also the nameless foreigner, the homeless refugee, the hungry boy begging for a job and the black body dangling on a tree. America is the illiterate immigrant who is ashamed that the world of books and intellectual opportunities are closed to him. We are all that nameless foreigner, that homeless refugee, that hungry boy, that illiterate immigrant and that lynched black body. All of us, from the first Adams to the last Filipino, native born or alien, educated or illiterate -We are America!
America, all of us, united for the common good are stronger together, like our Pilipino American families from the day we are born to the day we die, we, together, are able to face whatever comes out way, rising to the occasion. You see that’s the America I know…the America my great grandfather, grandfather and uncles who served our country to protect our freedom in WWI, WWII, the Korean conflict and Vietnam, the America that my parents who worked hard, played by the rules, built their house and sent five children to college never allowing us to forget where we came from serving as a foundation for the future, the America where my kids now see on TV people who look like them, sing like them, paint like them, dance like them, the America where our people are leaders in both labor and business, guardians of young minds of in elementary high school classrooms and healers in our hospital, the America where brilliant, beautiful Pilipino sisters and brothers are only an algorithm away from breathtaking new discoveries in science and technology, and the America a new generation Pilipino American’s committed to pubic service in Washington, D.C., fighting for decency, and the halls of state capitols, county and city governments.
We are stronger together towards a common good…like pamilya — and that my kababayans come November is how we defeat Trump.


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