In a groundbreaking virtual presidential townhall over the weekend, Asian Pacific Islander American Vote, or APIAVote, NBC, and PBS hosted a two-hour long forum stressing the importance of the Asian American and Pacific Islander vote in the upcoming presidential election.
Taking the virtual stage was presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
He went on to recall some of the Asian American milestones he and President Barack Obama achieved during their 8 year-long administration.
“We helped two million AAPI get health care coverage with the Affordable Care Act. We protected thousands of Asian American Dreamers by creating and expanding the DACA program. We strengthened the crime protections for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We worked to disaggregate federal data to better meet the challenges facing the API community. We secured long overdue compensation for proud Filipino American veterans of World War II and we appointed more AAPI judges to the bench than every administration in US history combined.”
While President Trump was invited to join the town hall, he opted to send a surrogate in the former governor of Guam, Eddie Baza Calvo.
“What better to represent the Trump campaign than a guy from Guam who lives directly south of Tokyo, who has Spanish, Chamorro, Filipino, a little bit of Chinese, blood so in reality, I guess I represent a microcosm of the Trump campaign.”
Inclusivity and race were among the hot topics during the forum.
“This pandemic has brought out the best in so many people, doctors, nurses, first responders, grocery clerks, delivery people caregivers, heroic soldiers in the war against the virus, so many of them are Asian Americans and pacific islanders, but this crisis has also brought out the worst.”
“We’ve all heard about the horrible acts against Asian Americans blamed for the coronavirus… and whether it’s from looting, whether it’s robbing or burning of flags or tearing down statues, most of those people if not all aren’t going to vote for President Trump many of them are supporters of the Biden campaign.”
When it came to immigration, as Calvo explained, that president Trump will continue to focus on a merit-based system, the former vice president laid out his plans for reform.
“On day 1, I’m gonna send a legislative immigration reform bill to Congress, to provide a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.”
The president’s number one goal is to move with merit-based immigration, we need skills in this nation.
As Calvo spoke on behalf of President Trump, he also mentioned that Trump has been able to meet with Asian American voters on the ground as he continues with his campaign rallies.