FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30th, 2021
Washington, DC—The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) issued the following statement regarding President Biden’s Joint Address to Congress. In his speech, President Biden called on Congress to pass legislation on immigration reform creating a pathway to citizenship. He also praised Congress for passing Senator Hirono’s S.937 COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act earlier this month. President Biden also recounted the progress Americans have made in vaccinations and the road to COVID-19 recovery.
We applaud the Biden Administration for their ambitious recovery plans that are turning the tide on a pandemic that has inflicted great loss and economic harm. While much progress has been made in the first 100 days of the Biden Administration, we share the belief that more work needs to be done to address anti-Asian racism and inclusion in our steps to recovery.
We are also encouraged by initial diversity numbers of appointees in the Biden Administration, 15% of which are AAPI. However, we continue to call on the Administration to disaggregate this information to ensure that AAPI representation is inclusive of all of our diverse communities.
We continue to call for greater inclusion of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders with respect to COVID-19 health disparities. These communities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic with high rates of infections and deaths, yet they still lack representation on the White House’s COVID-19 Health Equity Taskforce.
While immigration reform has long been a priority of our coalition, we continue our call for an end to the deportation of Southeast Asian Americans. We are encouraged by this administration’s willingness to listen and engage. We are hopeful that through their review, there will be recognition of just how unjust these continued deportations are, and how harmful they are for refugee families.
Finally, initial data with regards to political appointments suggests that the Biden Administration continues to make good on its commitment to greater diversity within the government. We encourage that this data be disaggregated to ensure that AAPI representation within the administration reflects the broader diversity of our communities.
We are deeply appreciative of the Biden Administration’s engagement with our member organizations. We look forward to continuing the work together as we find solutions to build back better and allow AAPI communities to thrive.
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 37 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.