- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

President Obama blasted “anti-immigration sentiment” by Republicans Wednesday night, saying some candidates are trying to exploit bigotry to win elections.

“We’ve got to push back against anti-immigrant sentiment in all its forms, especially by those who are trying to soak it just to seek political gain and just to try to get headlines,” Mr. Obama said at the annual Asian Pacific American Institute dinner in Washington. “We have to keep speaking out against hatred and bigotry in all of its forms.”

The president didn’t mention any candidates by name, although he has been especially critical of Republican Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims temporarily from entering the U.S.

Mr. Obama also told the audience that too many minorities in the U.S. don’t vote and therefore can’t influence policy.

“If you’re upset with America’s immigration policy but you’re not voting, that has to change,” he said. “If you doubt what’s at stake, you obviously haven’t been reading the papers.”

Born in Hawaii and raised in Indonesia, Mr. Obama began the dinner by telling the audience, “The spirit of the Asia Pacific region, that’s who I am.”

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