Hillary launches campaign to engage Asian Americans

Washington; Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has launched an outreach group to engage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, an increasingly potent voting bloc, as she looks to broaden the appeal of her campaign.

The group ‘AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) for Hillary’ was launched in California in presence of a large number of Asian American leaders, including Indian-Americans.

At the launch, Clinton pledged to address the concerns of the community, including those related to immigration and visa.

In her speech, Clinton pledged to work to reduce the backlog for family visa to reunite immigrant families.

“Applicants from the Asia-Pacific region make up about 40 percent of the family visa backlog. Some from the Philippines have been waiting for a visa for 23 years. If you’re a US citizen and your brother lives in India, it will take at least 12 years just to get him a visa,” the former secretary of state said.

“We have got to do more to help the millions of people who are eligible for citizenship take that last step. I will work to expand fee waivers so more people can get a break on the costs. I will increase access to language programmes to help people boost their English proficiency.

“I don’t want anyone who could be a citizen now to miss out on that opportunity,” she said.

And she explained the reasons for her early outreach to the community.

“That is essential because right now, it’s one of the fastest-growing communities in this country, but it’s a community that votes at a lower rate than others,” Clinton said.

America’s ties to the Asia-Pacific region have always been important, but in the 21st century they will be absolutely vital, she said.

“I was very proud when my husband’s administration launched the first-ever White House initiative on Asian- Americans and Pacific Islanders,” she added.

The United States, she said, is a country built by the hard work of generations of immigrants and America is stronger because of its diversity and openness.

She also identified Trump – the Republican presidential front runner – in her speech.

“I disagree with the Republican front-runner, Mr Trump. See, I think America is great because generations of hardworking Americans have made us great. Our values and our ideals have made us great,” Clinton said.