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Pelosi Remarks at Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Ceremony for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks at an event commemorating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month organized by the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC).  The theme of this year’s ceremony is “A Path Forward on Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

“Thank you very much, Congresswoman Bordallo.  I was sort of moving the program along by coming out during the end of the introduction because – you have – this is really a very special day for us when you all come together for this meeting.

“Our distinguished Democratic Whip, Mr. Hoyer, is here – you heard from Mr. Crowley, Mr. Becerra.  All of the Members of the House Democratic Leadership have come to pay our respects to all of you.

“In the interest of time, and not bearing repetition – even though some of it does bear repetition – I want to associate myself with the remarks of my colleagues who spoke before, on the path forward on immigration.  May I just say that, of the principles of our Caucus, that we have all stuck together on and are fighting for, family unification is very important to this Caucus, to our country.

“Let me just say that I associate myself with the remarks of Joe Crowley; however, I contend that I, in San Francisco, have the most diverse district in the country.  And that – from the standpoint of the Asian American Pacific Islander Community, we certainly rank up there very high.  We consider that a source of strength.  And I’ll just make this one point, because we have shared values, we’ve come together time and time again – smaller groups, this big group coming together – I just want to make this one point: in this last Congress, we elected five more Members of the Caucus – to the CAPAC Caucus – to the House of Representatives.  You know who they are: Grace Meng, Ami Bera, Tammy Duckworth, Mark Takano, and Tulsi Gabbard.  Let’s hear it for them for coming.

“That’s a beautiful thing.  And they now have made us, the House Democratic Caucus, fifty-four percent of our Caucus is women, minorities, or LBGT community members.  That’s a wonderful thing.

“We want more.  We want more.  And we say to our white male colleagues: ‘Good for you, not that we’re better, it’s just that the beauty is in the mix’ – and we want to have a diversity of opinions and when we see Americans look at Congress, we want them to see someone who shares their experience, their values, their background, aspirations of their communities.  And we are very, very proud of that.  And I thank all of you for your participation in this celebration.  It is just that, when we talk about a path to legalization, to a path to comprehensive immigration reform, we’re talking about something very patriotic, very all American.  As I contend and have always said, our founders were about commitment to making the future better for the next generation.  And every immigrant who comes to our country with the hope, the determination, the optimism that our founders had setting up this country for the future, all of them come to America, every immigrant who comes with that determination, hope and optimism makes America more American.

“So thank you for what you have done in that regard.  Thank you for what you’ve done to grow our economy through small businesses and every other size.  Thank you for what you have done, leading the way academically, and in so many ways.  Thank you to all of you.  And I believe – when we leave here and go to the speech after that – I’ll be meeting with Steny, and Mr. Crowley, and Mr. Becerra, and others about the immigration bill.  We feel very, very hopeful that we will be able to move forward on this before the session of this Congress is out.  That we will indeed have passed comprehensive immigration reform.  It couldn’t happen without you.

“Thank you all very much for this and for so much else.  Thank you.”