The majority of the White House’s Asian American advisory commission resigned in protest of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies this week.
On Wednesday, 10 of the 14 members of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders sent a joint resignation letter to the president expressing their objection to Trump’s executive orders on immigration, the administration’s plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and threats to sanctuary cities around the country. The commissioners were appointed by President Obama, but its term did not end when Trump was sworn in.
Originally, the group had 20 members but six resigned on the day Trump was inaugurated.
Among the commissioners who resigned were Indian American actor Maulik Pancholy, Vietnamese American Dr. Tung T. Nguyen, professor of medicine at U.C. San Francisco, and Kathy Ko Chin, President and CEO of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum.
“Although the Commissioners’ term ends 9/30/17, we can no longer serve a President whose policies aim to create outcomes that are diametrically opposite to our principles, goals and charge,” the resigning members wrote in the letter on Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News:
The commissioners said that they sent Trump an initial letter on Jan. 13 requesting a meeting to discuss their role but received no response.
“In addition to these actions, we object to your portrayal of immigrants, refugees, people of color and people of various faiths as untrustworthy, threatening and a drain on our nation,” the letter says.
The commission, consisting of Asian American and Pacific Islander professionals from across the country and diverse industries, was created in 1999 under Bill Clinton with the aim of informing government policy that has an impact on AAPI communities.
The White House has not commented on the letter or on the president’s plans for the council moving forward, and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.