Public Laws & Proclamations – Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2022

Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage MonthAsian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrated in the month of May, originated in 1978 when Congress passed a joint resolution that became Pub. L. 95-419. This law directed the President to issue a proclamation designating the week beginning on May 4, 1979 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. Pub. L. 95-419 was amended in 1990 by Pub. L. 101-283  which expanded the observance of Asian/Pacific American Heritage week to the month of May in 1990. Finally, in 1992, Congress passed Pub. L. 102-450 which permanently designated May of each year as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.”

Pursuant to Pub. L. 102-450, American Presidents have annually issued proclamations designating May as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month”. President Biden issued A Proclamation for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2022 which can be found here.

Presidential Proclamations are policy statements issued by the president to the public. Although often ceremonial, they can have legal effect (examples are proclamations regarding national emergencies, foreign policy, and federal land management). An example of this would be President Biden’s Proclamation 10315 (revoked on December 28, 2021) which suspended entry of certain individuals in countries where the Omicron variant of COVID-19 had been detected.

This informative CRS Report Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Speech Resources: Fact Sheet provides excellent summary of both Public Laws and Proclamations pertaining to Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. Also by CRS, the publication, Presidential Directives: An Introduction, discusses the differences between presidential directives.

The Law Library display features an assortment of academic and leisure reading books selected in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month for 2022. Be sure to stop by and check one out for summer reading!