May 30, 2019

Senator Hirono Leads Resolution to Recognize May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), along with 22 of her U.S. Senate colleagues, introduced a resolution recognizing the significance of Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month and the contributions of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

“APA Heritage Month is an opportunity to recognize the cultures, the trailblazers, and stories of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities in Hawaii and across the country,” Senator Hirono said. “While we celebrate these contributions, there is still much work to be done to ensure opportunity and equality for AAPI communities, and we must continue fighting for these goals.”

The resolution also recognizes several significant milestones for the APPI community, such as the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies; the 40th anniversary of the first Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week; the 45th anniversary of Lau v. Nichols, which expanded equal educational opportunities and paved the way for bilingual programs in public schools; and the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first Transcontinental railroad. The full text of the resolution is available here.

Throughout the month of May, Senator Hirono, the first Asian American woman elected to the United States Senate, introduced several key pieces of legislation that would benefit the AAPI community. Last week, Senator Hirono reintroduced the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act, which she previously introduced in the 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses. This legislation would expedite the visa process for children of Filipino World War II veterans. She also introduced the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation that would close a loophole in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 that prevented internationally-adopted children from receiving U.S. citizenship despite being legally adopted by U.S. citizens. Senator Hirono also introduced a resolution to commemorate the life and legacy of Representative Patsy Takemoto Mink, who, when elected to represent Hawaii in 1964, was the first Asian American woman and woman of color elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

In addition to Senator Hirono, the 2019 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month resolution is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Col.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.).