Now more than ever, hard-working, strong Asian-Americans are active and vocally supporting the leadership of President Trump while working to instill Republican values and policies in their communities. Trump’s bold actions have encouraged the Asian and Pacific Islander community to participate in politics. These Republicans are no longer hidden; they have an active and important role to play in our country.
I have been involved in Republican grassroots politics for more than 18 years in Virginia, where the Asian-American population has increased dramatically. We have an Asian-American Pacific Islander population of 660,795 and more than half of them are eligible voters. Currently, the AAPI vote is 5.3 percent of the electorate in the state of Virginia. Nationally, there are 20 million Asian-Americans and they are the fastest growing racial group in the country. Every year, the AAPI community contributes nearly $1.1 trillion to the U.S. economy and employs 3.6 million Americans nationwide. By 2036, they will constitute nearly 10 percent of eligible voters, giving them immense political influence.
I have personally seen in my Indian American community how President Trump’s positive actions have led to the development of new right-leaning organizations. These groups are solving social issues that directly impact AAPI families and their way of life. I have also seen how other members of my community, guided by their religious values, are motivated and proud to support conservative principles domestically and around the world.
Trump’s South Asia policy is noteworthy. The president has emboldened the Pakistani-American community to unite and speak out against more than 70 years of human rights abuses committed against their communities by the rogue Pakistani regime. Together, the Afghans, Balochi, Muhajirs, and other ethnic groups have all united to support Trump and American policy in stabilizing South Asia and eradicating terrorism.
I’m grateful for the hard work of Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., who has been a key leader in Asian-American engagement in Northern Virginia. Her relentless pursuit to engage these communities by participating in their religious and cultural festivals, attending social events, helping them with their immigration issues, and addressing MS-13 gang violence has been critical in motivating Asian-American engagement in Virginia. My own daughter Anya has participated in and benefited from Comstock’s inspiring Young Women Program, which has been a wonderful success in our community.
This year alone, the AAPI community will be one of the direct beneficiaries of President Trump’s tax cuts. I am confident that the entrepreneurial community will take advantage of the additional income to spur the local and national economy. Trump has fulfilled his campaign promise to the American people, and we have seen bigger paychecks and less red tape for AAPI entrepreneurs who open their own business.
The Asian-American Pacific Islander community has been eager to mobilize and voice their enthusiasm for this administration and the Republicans in Congress who are helping to advance the president’s agenda. As we get closer to the 2018 midterm elections, we are more ready than ever to show our support for President Trump, his Republican colleagues, and his pro-growth agenda for the American people.
Puneet Ahluwalia served on President Trump’s Asian Pacific Advisory Committee.