By Linda Yang
WA Asians For Equality
Proponents of the repeal of I-200 tried to use a 2006 study, entitled “Affirmative Action in Washington State,” to justify their cause. We’d like to add data that were left out in the original article in the Northwest Asian Weekly (Bring back affirmative action? March 17, 2018) to show that I-200 indeed benefits the Asian American community.
According to University of Washington (UW)’s own website, one year after the passage of I-200, “Asian American students planning to enroll (in the Fall 1999 freshman class) increased 6 percent (from 1,109 to 1,176).” That was despite a slight dip in Asian American application rate in 1999, according to the same 2006 study. In other words, prior to the passage of I-200, UW’s racial quota policy in admission prevented Asian American students from being accepted.
The most recent data from National Center for Education Statistics showed that in 2014, among total postsecondary student population in Washington, 8.96 percent was Asian, 0.61 percent was Pacific Islander. During that time, 9.53 percent of the state’s general population was Asian, 0.66 percent was Pacific Islander, with other ethnic groups making up the remainder. Proponents’ claim that I-200 hurts AAPI in higher education is groundless.
Senator Bob Hasegawa called us, who opposes repeal of I-200, “privileged.” On the contrary, we all worked hard to achieve what we have achieved. We believe in education, we believe in merit-based systems that reward hard work. Education empowers our kids to get ahead. We want to fight for the equal education right for all AAPI students. NO repeal of I-200, no racial quota. In our opinion, the law should be reinforced, not repealed.