In a joint letter delivered to the president yesterday (and shared to NBC News Asian America), 10 out of the remaining 14 members of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) courageously resigned in protest of President Trump’s recent spate of laws targeting Muslims, immigrants, refugees and other people of colour. The ten commissioners join six additional commissioners who resigned their posts on January 20th when President Trump was first inaugurated.
That means that due to his hateful and intolerant policies, President Trump has in the first three weeks of his presidency just lost 80% of his Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs was created by the Clinton administration to:
That same executive order also first established the White House Initiative on AAPIs, and both efforts were renewed by the Obama administration. During the Obama years, WHIAAPI enabled historic access for AAPIs to the White House, enabling several fruitful collaborations between the AAPI community and the federal government in order to create better services for the AAPI community on key topics such as anti-bullying initiatives, healthcare, and disaggregated data collection.
With Trump’s inauguration, however, the Commission feared a dissolution of that relationship. On January 13th, the Commission reportedly sent a letter to President-Elect Trump’s team requesting a meeting to discuss issues affecting the AAPI community, but received no response prompting six commissioners to resign in January.
Within the first month of Trump’s presidency, the White House appeared to be taking a more hostile stance towards immigrant communities and other communities of colour. Citing these positions, ten of the fourteen remaining commissioners — including the Advisory Commission’s two co-chairs — tendered their resignation, saying:
Speaking to NBC News, actor Maulik Pancholy — who was sworn-in as a commissioner in 2014 and who was among those who resigned yesterday — said:
The resigning commissioners’ tenures were set to expire at the end of September 2017. The four commissioners who elected to remain with the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs under Trump are Ravi Chaudhary, Billy Dec, Bill Imada, and Lorna May Ho Randlett.
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