9:45 PM EDT
Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-TX 18th

Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished gentleman from California (Mr. Honda), and I am very proud to stand here as a member of the Asian Pacific Caucus and as well to applaud the gentleman from California (Mr. Honda) for his vision and leadership on helping us commemorate the Asian Pacific Heritage Month, the month of May.

I am excited because as I left Houston, we were, if the Members will, embedded, if I might use that terminology, in celebrations and commemoration on the Asian Pacific Month in Houston. We are very proud as a very diverse community to be reflective of so many from the Asian community, and we are very proud of the fact that all of our citizens recognize and respect the excitement and contributions of this dynamic community. Might I applaud Mayor pro tempore council member Gordon Quan, the highest-ranking

Asian American in the city of Houston. He serves as second in the command of the city of Houston, and we are very proud of his representation.

I am also proud of the fact, if I might speak to the political process, of the number of Asian Americans who will be seeking political office and empowerment. Might I applaud the thought processes that have moved our communities to be accepting of that diversity. And as well, might I applaud the Asian American senior citizen community and senior citizens community center. We had the privilege of meeting with many of the representatives just a few weeks ago, and we have collectively made a commitment

to help them build a very dynamic community center for the very dynamic senior citizen community in Houston that happens to be Asian. The reason, of course, because there is such history, there is such a commonality, a community of interests, that we want to make sure that those individuals have an opportunity to reflect on their history and to expand on their cultural pride by having a community center designated and committed to them.

I am also proud of the work that has been done in collaboration with the Asian American community on the issues dealing with immigration. We have worked on the question of whether or not immigration equates to terrorism, and we worked on the question of civil liberties as we have moved certain bills such as the PATRIOT Act and as we formulated the Select Committee on Homeland Security. We have worked to ensure that we do not stigmatize and racially profile different ethnic groups.

This is a month to celebrate and commemorate this

outstanding community. For that reason I would like to stand and join with the very powerful and very impressive leader of this Asian Pacific Caucus in the United States Congress and suggest that his continued advocacy on behalf of expanding the opportunities of the Asian Pacific community throughout the Nation and emphasizing political empowerment, social empowerment, civic empowerment is one that I join him in and I thank him for allowing me to celebrate this very important month, and might

I congratulate the entire Asian Pacific community in Houston and all Asian Americans as we celebrate this very important month.

With that I yield back to the distinguished gentleman.