WASHINGTON — Over the weekend, President Donald Trump tweeted that four new Democratic members of Congress, all women of color, should “go back” to the “corrupt” countries they are from.
The tweet was directed at Reps. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.). The first three were born in the U.S. and Omar has lived in the U.S. since she was 10. All are U.S. citizens.
Following are some responses from Asian Pacific American members of Congress:
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “Fourteen members of Congress are immigrants. No matter what Donald Trump says, we aren’t going back where we came from. We’re going to stay right here to fight this racist president and his silent Republican enablers.” (Hirono was born in Japan.)
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.): “I’ve personally been told, ‘Go back to where you came from.’ It is vile, ignorant, shallow, and hateful. It has to stop.”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.): “This is a disgusting and racist attack on four American women of color elected by fellow American citizens. Typical Trump: ignorant, shameful and utterly despicable … And it should be condemned by EVERYONE across the political spectrum.” (Duckworth was born in Thailand.)
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena): “I can’t think of anything more patriotic at this moment than disagreeing with the president. Loving America means knowing that anybody can be a part of shaping its future. What Trump is advocating is totalitarian loyalty based on racism and white nationalism. It’s dangerous.” (Chu is chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.)
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles): “Hey Donald Trump: When you tell Americans to ‘go back’ from where we came, that is racist. I went to school in Ohio and now live in California. Like many immigrants, I’ve had people tell me to ‘go back.’ They say that because of my race, not because I’m a Cleveland Browns fan. Get it?” (Lieu was born in Taiwan.)
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside): “I’ve been told many times to ‘go back to China,’ even though I’m of Japanese descent. President Trump’s comments to my colleagues were deeply hurtful, and I take issue with his claim that he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. But despite these attacks, this country is our home and we all belong in it.”
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento): “To serve in Congress, you must be a U.S. citizen. This is racist. Period. My colleagues are Americans who love this country and swore an oath to protect it. They are duly elected by their communities, and his attacks cannot divide us.”
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Santa Clara): “The [Democratic] caucus’ divisions now pale in comparison to the unanimity about condemning the president’s xenophobic tweets.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.): “This is deeply personal for so many of us. I have been told countless times to ‘go back to my country,’ but now it’s coming from the White House. Trump’s tweets are undermining everything that we hold dear in our Constitution and our founding values. We have to call this out.” (Jayapal was born in India.)
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii): “Trump’s comments were made to foment racism and bigotry, to further divide our country for his own political gain, and put his own interests ahead of the interests of our country. Trump telling Americans who disagree with or even criticize the president that they should ‘go back to where they came from’ undermines the rights and freedoms that I and my brothers and sisters in uniform have served and sacrificed to protect. Our freedom of speech and right to dissent are the most fundamentally American values that we must all stand up for and protect.”
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.): “Mr. President, you’re saying that about members of Congress, they are American citizens and this is their country too. Do you think it’s not their government for the same reason you assumed they ‘originally came from’ somewhere else which must be awful? Who do you think ‘us’ is?” (Krishnamoorthi was born in India.)
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.): “America is a nation that is not defined by a single race, color, or creed. As an immigrant, I love this country as much as any other U.S.-born citizen, and that’s why I chose to serve.” (Murphy was born in Vietnam.)