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Chao criticized after Trump’s Charlottesville remarks

Elaine Chao
Photo courtesy of James O’Gara

Asian American organizations are criticizing Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao after President Trump’s response to the White supremacist rally in Virginia that turned deadly, reported The Hill.

In a petition, the organizations said she “stood by President Trump as he blamed both sides for the racist acts that took place in Charlottesville.”

“As Asian Americans, we call on Secretary Elaine Chao, an immigrant from Taiwan and woman of color, to be silent no more and stand by us as we fight to protect the [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] and [Temporary Protected Status] programs,” the petition states, referring to the policies that prevent deportation for undocumented immigrants.

The petition was led by the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium. It asked Chao to show more support for immigrant communities and the policies affected them.

“We believe Secretary Chao should make a public statement supporting fellow immigrants who rely on DACA and TPS to work, study, and dream of a better future, or that she resign from office,” the petition states.

The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect criticized Chao and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin after an infrastructure announcement at Trump Tower on Tuesday. They were present as he suggested not all of the people attending the White supremacist rally in Charlottesville were bad.

“How could you stand there and listen to his hate?” the Anne Frank Center tweeted at Chao and Mnuchin. “Have the humanity to quit.”

Chao clearly denounced the racial violence in a press conference following Trump’s comments.

“We are a country of tolerance,” she said. “It is hateful behavior and it is not who we are as Americans.”

Although Chao condemned the violence, she has stayed loyal to Trump.

Even after Trump spoke poorly of her husband last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and suggested he resign if he doesn’t pass certain legislation, Chao has still been supportive of both.

“I stand by my man — both of them,” Chao told reporters in New York City on Tuesday.

Other groups, including Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs, defended Chao’s record on immigration issues.

“Secretary Chao’s life and career are an inspiration to Asian Americans throughout our country … Secretary Chao has fought for all immigrants, ” the groups said in a statement. “We proudly support Secretary Chao because she has always supported us and, through the years, served as a role model to all communities of color both here and throughout the world.”

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