APA Officials Blast Trump’s Comments About Philippines

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has aroused anger from Filipino American and other Asian Pacific American leaders, including elected officials, with remarks identifying the Philippines as a terrorist state.

In a speech on Aug. 4 in Portland, Maine, Trump included the Philippines on a list of countries he said had sent immigrants who had plotted to kill Americans, according to The Washington Post.

“We’re letting people come in from terrorist nations that shouldn’t be allowed because you can’t vet them,” he said. “There’s no way of vetting them. You have no idea who they are. This could be the great Trojan horse of all time.”

Assemblymember Rob Bonta

Assemblymember Rob Bonta

He cited a case in which “an immigrant from Afghanistan who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship [and]an illegal permanent resident from the Philippines were convicted for plotting to join Al Qaeda and the Taliban in order to kill as many Americans as possible … Hillary Clinton wants to have them come in by the hundreds of thousands.”

Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), chair of California’s Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, said in a statement on Aug. 8, “The latest salvo of divisive and hateful rhetoric being spewed by Donald Trump demonstrates yet again that he is unfit to serve as president. As an immigrant from the Philippines and as the first and only Filipino American elected to the California State Legislature, I’m extremely proud of the contributions Filipino Americans have made to America, from fighting heroically in our Armed Forces to igniting the struggle for farm worker rights, and the list goes on.