November 30, 2023 IN: Our Voices, Staff Blog
Crafting groundbreaking national policy to improve the lives of Southeast Asian Americans
Dear SEARAC supporter,
This year, I’m incredibly proud of the SEARAC team, the more than 70 partner organizations we work with across the country, and – most importantly – the Southeast Asian American community members who have made invaluable contributions to major national policy wins in 2023.
For the first time ever, with the reintroduction of the Southeast Asian Deportation Relief Act, we’ve been able to increase political support for bringing home Southeast Asian refugees who have been deported. We’re not just ending deportations here in the United States for Southeast Asian American refugees, but we’re also making sure those who have been removed are able to come home.
For the first time ever, with the reintroduction of the All Students Count Act, we have federal legislation in both the House and the Senate that recognizes Mien and Montagnard populations. We’re fighting back against 50 years of education inequities – and, more recently, learning losses from COVID-19 that have deeply impacted our communities – that have gone unnoticed by data that render Southeast Asian American students invisible.
And, for the first time ever, Iu Mien communities were included – were made visible – in the first population dataset released from the 2020 Census. And through our advocacy work with the Hmong community and the US Census Bureau, we’ve been able to talk about an Indigenous population and why their experiences are essential to the Southeast Asian American narrative. In a political climate that has not given us many opportunities to center Hmong voices, it is a privilege – and a necessity – to advocate for the need for high-quality, detailed ethnicity data for Southeast Asian Americans.
These wins are the culmination of decades of advocacy by community members, leaders, and organizations like SEARAC. As I look ahead to 2024 and the goals outlined in our strategic plan, my hope is that we can not only continue to make our communities’ experiences visible, but that we’re also creating viable, tangible political wins while building community power. I invite you to be a part of this future by making a gift to SEARAC today.
Kham S. Moua, SEARAC National Deputy Director
For more blogs in our series for SEARAC’s 2023 Annual Fundraiser, see:
- “My ten year anniversary – donate to build Southeast Asian power” by Quyên Đinh
- “SEARAC is cultivating Southeast Asian American leadership” by Chingcha Vang
- “Uplifting the power of the largest SEAA community in the US” by Thuy Do
- “SEARAC is building community power for generations to come” by Alexis Friedman
- “Change starts internally before it can be advocated externally” by Elaine Sanchez Wilson