Hillary Clinton’s Vision for a Thriving Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community
The AAPI community is the fastest growing minority group in America—one that is a key part of the social fabric of who we are as a nation. From adding rich diversity, to spurring small businesses and economic growth, the AAPI community has helped build this country and strengthen our communities. Hillary recognizes that these accomplishments sometimes mask the challenges the AAPI community faces—such as enduring racism, language barriers, and a gender wage gap. She will fight to break down these barriers so that everyone, regardless of their background has a chance to live up to their potential.
As President, Hillary will:
- Fight for comprehensive immigration reform.Asian immigrants make up 11% of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, the vast majority of whom have lived in the U.S. for over a decade. Instead of breaking up law-abiding immigrant families who have enriched America, Hillary will offer them a path to full and equal citizenship. She will also protect and implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) programs to keep AAPI families together.
- Promote naturalization. Hillary believes we should do more to help AAPI immigrants who are eligible for citizenship to take that last step. She will expand fee-waivers and increase access to language and outreach programs.
- Address the family backlog. Applicants from the Asia-Pacific region make up about 40% of the family visa backlog. Some from the Philippines have been waiting for a visa for 23 years. As Senator, Hillary worked to reduce the backlog for family visas and reunite immigrant families and she will continue to do so as President.
- Make college affordable. When taken as a whole, the AAPI community has high college completion rates, yet specific sub-groups are falling behind. For example, only 14% of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders 25 years of age and older have a B.A. or higher. Hillary’s New College Compact will improve college access by ensuring that cost is not a barrier for anyone who wants to attend college.
- Defend and enhance the Affordable Care Act. Prior to the ACA, one in every six AAPIs did not have access to health insurance, surpassing the average national uninsured rate. Today, millions of AAPIs across the country are benefiting from newly available and affordable coverage. Hillary will stand up to Republican attempts to roll back the law and will ensure that it reaches more members of the AAPI community by allowing all families to purchase health insurance through an ACA exchange, no matter its immigration status.
- Close the gender wage gap. On average, AAPI women earn 62 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. Hillary will work to give AAPI women the tools they need to fight workplace discrimination and close the wage gap.
- Protect voting rights and expand access to the ballot box. Despite the rapid growth of the AAPI community, their voting participation rates are comparatively lower than other communities. Often times, this is due to language barriers, lack of access to voter resources, or voter suppression efforts. Hillary believes we should be making it easier to vote, not harder. That is why she will fight to repair the Voting Rights Act, set new standards for early in-person voting, implement universal automatic voter registration, and strongly enforce requirements that certain jurisdictions provide bilingual poll workers and ballot translation for language minority groups.
- Combat discrimination and bullying in school. Too many AAPI students still face discrimination and bullying at school because of who they are, where they come from, or how they dress. Hillary will fight to pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act to prohibit bullying and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion in federally funded school districts.
- End racial profiling. Racial profiling is demeaning and ineffective, and it erodes trust between law enforcement officers and the AAPI residents they serve. Hillary will support legislation to end racial profiling by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.
- Report disaggregated data to better serve the AAPI community. Disaggregated data can help illuminate where AAPI subgroups may face greater challenges than data about the larger community suggests. Recognizing subgroup disparities in areas such as health, education, and employment allows the federal government to better target resources and develop effective solutions. Hillary will continue the efforts of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to advance best practices in data collection and disaggregation across federal agencies.
Hillary has a record of defending and promoting the AAPI community:
- As Senator from New York, Hillary championed initiatives to improve the lives of AAPIs, their families and communities. She introduced the Count Every Vote Act to ensure that all citizens, including foreign language speakers, had equal access to voting, and sponsored the Legal Immigration Children’s Health Improvement Act to restore access to Medicaid and SCHIP benefits for immigrant pregnant women and children. Hillary not only voted consistently in support of comprehensive immigration reform, but also authored legislation to address the backlog of family visas and expedite the reunification of immigrant families.
- As Secretary of State, Hillary made the Asia-Pacific region a top priority of U.S. foreign policy. Hillary traveled to Asia as her first overseas trip as Secretary to begin bolstering strategic engagement between the two regions. She worked to increase economic engagement with ASEAN and APEC and was the first Secretary of State to lead the US delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum. To enhance security cooperation, Hillary helped increase America’s presence in the Asia-Pacific while also working to ease regional tensions with China. And to strengthen the U.S.-China strategic relationship, she launched a study-abroad initiative to expand opportunities for US students to learn Mandarin and study in China.