54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019


Mimi Stewart









     WHEREAS, there are more than forty-two thousand Asian Americans living in New Mexico; and

     WHEREAS, Asian Americans are among the fastest-growing and emerging communities of color in New Mexico; and

     WHEREAS, Asian Americans in New Mexico come from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam, as well as other locations; and

     WHEREAS, Asian Americans have worked on the railroads and in agriculture in New Mexico since the nineteenth century and fought bravely in World War I, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, the Gulf War and in Afghanistan and Iraq and have received congressional medals of honor, purple hearts and other military commendations; and

     WHEREAS, this year represents the fifty-fourth anniversary of the passage of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson at the foot of the statue of liberty on October 3, 1965; and

     WHEREAS, the Chinese American citizens alliance, including its Albuquerque chapter, the Asian American association of New Mexico and the Japanese American citizens league thank the New Mexico legislature for its leadership in the 1882 project, seeking an apology from congress for passage of a series of laws, including the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which was not repealed until 1943; and

     WHEREAS, prior to passage of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, Asians were greatly affected by the Chinese Exclusion Act, which restricted immigration of Chinese laborers and forbade the naturalization of Chinese immigrants; and

     WHEREAS, Asians also were affected by the federal Immigration Act of 1917, which designated an "Asiatic barred zone" of much of eastern Asia and the Pacific islands from which people could not immigrate to the United States; and

     WHEREAS, the federal Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 enabled Asian family reunification, civil rights and equal protection under the law that had been denied for over sixty years; and

     WHEREAS, United States Senate Resolution 201, passed by unanimous consent, including New Mexico Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, on October 6, 2011, acknowledged that the exclusion laws were incompatible with a basic founding principle of the United States: that all persons are created equal; and

     WHEREAS, United States Senate Resolution 201 further expressed deep regret for six decades of legislation specifically targeting persons of Asian descent, barring them from naturalization and immigration and denying them civil rights and equal protection under the law; and

     WHEREAS, United States House of Representatives Resolution 683, expressing the regret of the house of representatives for the passage of laws that adversely affected the Chinese in the United States, including the Chinese Exclusion Act, was supported by Congressmen Martin T. Heinrich, Steve Pearce and Ben R. Lujan; the resolution was placed on the suspension calendar and passed unanimously by the one hundred twelfth congress by voice vote on June 8, 2012; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico Senator Cisco McSorley sponsored and led the repeal of the Alien Land Law from the constitution of New Mexico during the first session of the forty-seventh legislature in 2005, which law prohibited land ownership by all immigrants ineligible for United States citizenship; and

     WHEREAS, the repeal of these laws affirms the responsibility of congress and the New Mexico legislature to safeguard the civil rights and constitutional protections of all Americans, regardless of their race or ethnicity; and

     WHEREAS, Asian Americans contribute greatly to the economy of New Mexico with their labor, industry, businesses and purchasing power; and

     WHEREAS, Asian Americans are contributing their unique culture, customs and traditions to the already richly diverse culture of New Mexico; and

     WHEREAS, Asians are a strong part of the narrative and historical context of New Mexico and deserve to have their humanity in all its shapes and forms be recognized;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that January 17, 2019 be declared "Asian American Day" in the senate; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the Asian American association of New Mexico and the New Mexico Asian family center.

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