On Wednesday morning, November 9, many Americans awoke to the news that Donald Trump had been elected President of the United States of America. Trump will begin his first term with a Republican-controlled Congress and U.S. Supreme Court.
For the API community, concerns have heightened regarding Trump’s promises to deport undocumented immigrants and prevent Muslims from entering the United States. In August, Trump suggested that immigration from the Philippines should be stopped because it’s a terrorist nation. The Trump presidency also threatens President Barack Obama’s executive actions, including the Affordable Care Act and the protections afforded to children of undocumented immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
“Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country,” Trump said in his victory speech. “I mean that very sincerely. Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together. Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”
“Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country,” Clinton said during her concession speech Wednesday morning. “I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I’m sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.”
Clinton called on Americans to give Trump a chance to lead: “We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”
Washington Congressman Adam Smith said in a statement about President-elect Trump: “President-elect Trump ran the most bitter, divisive, and negative presidential campaign in history. Now he claims he wants to change his tone. For the sake of our country, I hope he does. From day one, I will do everything I can to hold President-elect Trump and his administration accountable. I would like to see his agenda create good jobs, increase equality and equity, and respect the rights of all Americans; particularly women, communities of color, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, and immigrants. However, if he continues to divide us as a nation, I will fight him every step of the way.”
Democratic primary presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders issued the following statement Wednesday: “Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids – all while the very rich become much richer. To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.”
OneAmerica executive director Rich Stolz said in a statement Wednesday: “Today America woke up to the reality of a Donald Trump Presidency, though the majority of Washington voters, and the popular vote did not side with him. Today, millions of immigrants and refugees in Washington State and across the nation are asking themselves, ‘Am I welcome in this nation?.’ Now, more than ever, our vision for racial and social equity grounded in a commitment to be a welcoming nation built on immigration is more important than ever. As a community and as a state, we must come together; we must resist attacks on our communities; we must empower ourselves and support each other; and we must build a movement that can make clear that the progress we’ve made as a nation these last 60 years will continue. We will not go backward.”
In Seattle on Wednesday, elected officials and civic leaders gathered at Seattle City Hall to speak to members of the local community.
Amidst widespread uncertainty following Tuesday’s election results, the speakers emphasized a need to build community, maintain hope, and work together to protect the rights of all people. Speakers included Seattle Mayor Ed Murray; Congresswoman-elect Pramila Jayapal; Seattle City Councilmembers Lorena González, Debora Juarez, and Kshama Sawant; Senior Somali Organizer Abdullahi Jama of OneAmerica; Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program Manager Wendy Martinez Hurtado of 21 Progress; and King County Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Nicole Grant.
Mayor Ed Murray spoke first. Murray expressed dedication to maintain the right to marry for the LGBTQ community and said he would continue to work within the law to promote social progress and equity. Speaking to immigrant, American Muslim, and queer communities, Murray said: “This city has been and will be a welcoming city. This city will remain a sanctuary city.” Read more here.
In Washington state’s 7th Congressional District Representative race, Pramila Jayapal won the seat held for 14 terms by outgoing Rep. Jim McDermott. Jayapal defeated Brady Walkinshaw by taking 57 percent of the vote.
Jayapal said in a statement following the election: “Like many of you, I woke up this morning feeling shocked and then fearful of what lies ahead for America. But this is not the time to sit down in the face of set backs. To the people of the 7th Congressional District and progressive voters across the country, I ask that we stand together–not just for our progressive ideals, but to stop the disastrous rollback of decades of mainstream progress in this country. This is not the fight we would have chosen but we will fight it the way we have fought to protect our rights and freedoms in the past. As your elected representative in what is likely to be a hostile Congress, I will need all of you at my side, not just in some theoretical way but literally every step of the way. Because our task is not just to fight when it is convenient. But when it is absolutely urgent and when it is the hardest.”
Incumbent Patty Murray was elected to a fifth term in her seat as Washington State Senator by defeating Chris Vance.
OCA National President Leslie Moe-Kaiser pointed to increased participation in Tuesday’s election as well as a nationwide estimate of 6.8 million registered Asian and Pacific Islander voters, which demonstrate the growing civic power of both Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the larger immigrant community.
“We are also seeing signs of growing civic participation in the increasing involvement AAPIs in political campaigns and at all levels of government,” Moe-Kaiser said in a statement. “As a result of this election, Tammy Duckworth and Kamala Harris are set to become the second and third Asian American women to serve as a U.S. Senator. Pramila Jayapal and Stephanie Murphy are also set to become, respectively, the first Indian American and Vietnamese American women to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. These groundbreaking victories are a bright spot of this election season, and we congratulate all new and re-elected AAPIs currently serving in public office. We hope that the hateful rhetoric of the campaign season will clear and that there is an opportunity to work with President-elect Trump and congressional leadership on issues that are important to AAPIs including immigration and education. No matter what, OCA will continue to strive towards a greater understanding between people and a nation where the civil rights of all people regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, genderidentity, or immigration status are protected.”
According to the 2016 national Asian American Election Eve poll, Asian Americans overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, 75% to 19%, a significantly higher margin than was suggested by the exit polls. The survey also showed that 56% of Asian Americans now identify as Democrats, a marked jump from 49% in the same poll four years ago. The full results of the Asian American Eve poll can be viewed here.
This article will continue to be updated.