Press Release

Contact: Erin Pangilinan, KAYA National Communications Director,

*****For Immediate Release*****


KAYA Demands Apology for Marion Barry’s Xenophobic Remarks Against Immigrant Workers

Washington DC – The Filipino American community demands an apology for D.C. Council Member, Marion Barry’s xenophobic remarks against immigrant workers. Just weeks ago, Councilman Barry also made racist remarks against Asian-owned businesses in local D.C.

KAYA strongly condemns DC City Council Member Marion Barry for his racist remarks against immigrant nurses and teachers.

In fact, it’s so bad, that if you go to the hospital now, you find a number of immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines,” Marion said.The Council Member went on to say, “And no offense, but let’s grow our own teachers, let’s grow our own nurses — and so that we don’t have to be scrounging around in our community clinics and other kinds of places — having to hire people from somewhere else.”

Barry’s remarks are troubling and consistently characterize immigrants as perpetual foreigners.Barry needs to recognize that immigrant workers contribute greatly to the United States,” said KAYA National Co-Chair, Jason T. Lagria. “His comments are unfounded and perpetuate stereotypes that anything foreign is bad for the United States.

Filipino nurses have been an integral part of our nation’s healthcare system for many decades dating back to post World War II. Foreign-trained nurses who work in the United States meet the same specific education and experience criteria as those nurses trained in the U.S. They must pass the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) certification program, in addition to completing and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam. Without nurses from the Philippines and other countries, there would be critical nursing shortages in many areas of the country.

KAYA demands that Mr. Barry apologize for his statements and xenophobic remarks about Asians and Filipinos who have worked hard alongside other Americans in the pursuit of the American Dream.



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