Supreme Court Decision Hurts Immigrant Communities
Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 and along party lines in the Nielsen v. Preap case that immigrants with a criminal record can be detained at anytime and are not required to provide such individuals with a bond hearing. Immigrants who have already been ordered removed are not subject to this decision. The American Civil Liberties Union litigated the class action lawsuit. One of the lead plaintiffs in the case was a Cambodian American named Mony Preap.
Elaine Sanchez Wilson
(202) 601-2970 / firstname.lastname@example.org
NAKASEC, SAALT, and SEARAC Welcome Introduction of The Dream and Promise Act
Washington, DC – Asian American organizations welcome the introduction of the Dream and Promise Act. The bill, introduced by Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA 40), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY 7), and Yvette Clarke (D-NY 9), provides a majority of undocumented immigrants eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and individuals with status under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) programs a pathway to citizenship.
There are more than 11.5 million undocumented immigrants, 1.7 million of whom are Asian American, living in the United States. The top five countries of origin for Asian American undocumented individuals are India, China, South Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The legislation would protect over two million individuals from detention and deportation by creating a permanent pathway to citizenship for these populations. Furthermore, approximately 120,000 Asian American DREAMers and 15,000 Nepali Americans who currently live in the United States through the TPS program would benefit from the process created in this bill.
Take Action: Tell Your Reps to Vote NO on the DHS Funding Bill
Take two minutes (one minute per call) and call your US Senator and US Congressmember NOW
1.) Call the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with your senators and congressmember. You can also click here to find the direct lines to your representatives.
Sample Script: “Hi, my name is ______ and I am a constituent of Senator/Congressmember ____. On this Valentine’s Day, I am calling to urge them show their love for the immigrant community and VOTE NO on the DHS funding bill. This bill will be extremely harmful to our communities. Thank you.”
Community Alert: US, Vietnam Schedule Meeting Next Week to Renegotiate 2008 Repatriation Agreement
TAKE ACTION: Voice your opposition to any renegotiation of the US-Vietnam agreement
A love letter to America
“He chose his country because he loved his family.” My parents have repeated those words to me for more thanover two decades when describing my grandfather. In the fallout of the Vietnam War and in the ensuing escape from Laos, he and his men guided my family across the Mekong River. And in the dark of the night, he left them at a Thai refugee camp and returned to the jungles of Laos. He spent years resisting a government that hunted my peoples before he and his men were ambushed.
I was born in that camp, a location that I often cannot pronounce. My green card still lists me as a Lao national, even though I’ve never been there nor do I remember the chain fences from my birth. After I was born, my parents crossed an ocean to California and then to Minnesota. My parents struggled —- selling trinkets at flea markets and working from dawn until midnight, manufacturing your hearing aids and heart catheters. And in the space between their love, I learned in snow- covered streets that I was just American enough, but still not American.
Throughout my adolescence, I was ashamed of the rocks hurled at our cars, the slurs thrown in our faces, and the pity tossed in our direction. But my time at college taught me to look inward, to understand my parents —- that they are American in their copper skin, brown eyes, and jet black hair. And in that understanding, I realized that it was America that should be ashamed of the ways in which we have treated refugees and immigrants.
So at 18, I helped a group of recent Burmese, Bhutanese, and Karen refugees organize and fight to save an educational program that allowed them to procure a high school diploma. And we won. But I remember what a young Burmese woman said during one of our strategy sessions: “My country has taken away my home, my family, and my education. I come to America only to find that they, too, are trying to take my education away from me.” Those words continue to stay with me. I’ve since spent over a decade of my life working to advance the rights of immigrant and refugee communities.
I now work at SEARAC because, like my grandfather, I, too, choose my country. I love the only country I have ever called home, but our laws are flawed. We hurt and deport immigrants without consideration of history, of community, nor of impact. We target and retraumatize those who seek shelter on our shores. But because I love our country, I am committed to making her better for all of us. Through SEARAC, I choose to resist efforts to tear my community from the only home many of us have ever known.
Kham S. Moua is SEARAC’s new Immigration Policy Advocate. To contact him, e-mail email@example.com.