CAPAC Chair Judy Chu Comments on New Pew Report on Asian Americans

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), released the following statement about the Pew Research Center’s new report entitled The Rise of Asian Americans:
“Today, the Pew Research Center released a report that highlights some of the positive trends of the six largest subgroups within the Asian Pacific American (APA) community. As the fastest growing demographic in the U.S., these findings reinforce the fact that Asian Pacific Americans are a rising force that cannot be ignored.
“However, as Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), I would strongly caution against using this data to validate the “model minority” myth. Our community is one of stark contrasts, with significant disparities within and between various subgroups. The ‘Asian Pacific American’ umbrella includes over 45 distinct ethnicities speaking over 100 language dialects, and many of the groups that were excluded from this report are also the ones with the greatest needs. For instance, while the Pew report touts the community’s success in educational attainment, this claim also ignores the fact that over a third of Hmong, Cambodian, and Laotian Americans do not even hold a high school diploma. While the Asian Pacific American community should celebrate its accomplishments, we must also avoid drawing oversimplified conclusions that ignore the many real challenges facing our diverse population.
“To better understand our growing community, we need to move beyond stereotypical narratives and pursue more disaggregated data collection. The Pew Research Center’s report highlights this important need, and I hope it will serve as a wake-up call for government, academia, and others to invest in this research.”

June 21, 2012

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