Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0357
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Full Text of HR0357  100th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, It is appropriate and right to celebrate a
3diversity of cultures and heritages; this celebration serves as
4a reminder that despite our differing backgrounds, everyone in
5Illinois is bound by a common hope for a better and more
6inclusive future for our children; and
7    WHEREAS, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are among
8the fastest growing ethnic groups in Illinois; Asian Americans
9and Pacific Islanders make up over 5% of the population of
10Illinois; the community grew by over 40% between 2000 and 2010;
12    WHEREAS, The Asian American and Pacific Islander community
13has a long and integral history in the United States; in
14recognition and celebration of that history, the United States
15Congress established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week in
161978; that week was extended to the full month of May with the
17signature of President George H. W. Bush in 1990; and
18    WHEREAS, May is an appropriate month for the observation of
19Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: May 7, 1843 was
20the arrival date of Nakahama Manjiro, the first Japanese
21immigrant to the United States; it was on May 10, 1869 that the
22United States was united coast to coast by the Transcontinental



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1Railroad with the placement of the "Golden Spike"; the railroad
2was made possible by herculean efforts of the mostly Chinese
3immigrant workers; and
4    WHEREAS, The Asian American community played a heroic role
5in the Second World War; the 442nd Infantry regiment, made
6mostly of Japanese Americans, fought for the United States
7while their families at home were facing harsh discrimination
8and internment; the 442nd became one of the most decorated
9units for its size, earning almost 10,000 Purple Hearts; and
10    WHEREAS, Despite the contributions of the different Asian
11Americans and immigrants, the Asian American community has
12faced challenges and discrimination in the United States; many
13of the Chinese laborers were treated extremely poorly during
14the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad and none of
15the Chinese Americans were allowed in the famous picture of the
16"Golden Spike"; Asian immigrants faced xenophobia and outright
17violence throughout periods of the 19th and 20th centuries; on
18May 6, 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act;
19Congress passed even more draconian legislation in 1924 in the
20form of the Immigration Act of 1924 which prevented most people
21of Asia from immigrating to the United States; and
22    WHEREAS, Despite this discrimination, brilliant leaders
23from different Asian American communities have contributed to



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1the legacy of the United States; leaders like Dalip Singh
2Saund, the first Asian American elected to Congress; Fred T.
3Korematsu, the champion of civil liberties and of the Japanese
4Americans interned during the Second World War; Larry Dulay
5Itliong, hero for the labor movement; and Grace Lee Boggs and
6Patsy Mink, a transformative force for Title IX; all have
7served as movers and shakers in the United States; whether as
8soldiers, laborers, business owners, advocates, or community
9leaders, those in the Asian American and Pacific Islander
10community continue to rise up to the challenges they face and
11serve as a force for good in the State of Illinois and the
12United States; therefore, be it
15declare May of 2017 as Asian American and Pacific Islander
16Heritage Month in honor of the people in these communities in
17Illinois and the nation.