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National Asian-American, Pacific Islander Coalition Issues 2016 Policy Platform

A coalition of 35 national Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) organizations has released its 2016 policy platform, recommending specific policy solutions for advancing civil rights, immigration reform, economic justice, and other issues crucial to the AANHPI community.

Among the priorities in this year's Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Policy Platform, which the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) has published every four years since 2004, are restoring the Voting Rights Act, fully funding and expanding the 2020 Census to collect more disaggregated data, and establishing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. In total, the platform includes over two dozen policy positions.

"Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders will be the margin of victory throughout the nation on November 8, from local elections to swing states that could determine the presidency," Christopher Kang, NCAPA national director, told NBC News. "As political candidates seek our support, it is critical that they understand our policy priorities and concerns. This platform illuminates the AANHPI perspective on a broad range of issues — from immigration and criminal justice to health care and housing — and calls for policymakers to collect data that reflects the diversity of our community and to ensure that services are culturally and linguistically appropriate."

The platform also highlights the diversity of AANHPI communities — which includes "nearly fifty ethnic groups speaking more than a hundred languages," according to the document.

It also expresses solidarity with other communities of color, stressing opposition to anti-Muslim hate and xenophobia as well as support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

"This platform doesn't only highlight AAPI-specific issues like language access or the need to have for more comprehensive and disaggregated AAPI data, but it also provides the AAPI perspective on many of the issues we see reported in the press — from immigration to criminal justice reform to pay equity to close the gender gap," Rep. Judy Chu, chair of Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), said during a press call last month. "In 2016, it is unacceptable that the perspective of AAPIs is so rarely included in mainstream media when we consistently see the input of African American and Hispanic communities."

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