November News Roundup: New deportation resources, CHARGE at the CA Capitol, and more


Summit leaders sing together at the MLK Monument as part of the Southeast Asian American March for Equity

We moved mountains

Last month, over 150 Southeast Asian American leaders, advocates, organizers, direct service providers, students, elders, and allies came together in Washington, DC, for three special days. We learned from and inspired each other. We healed. And we strengthened our Southeast Asian American community power.
Find photos of the summit here:


Community partners from across California prepare to testify at the California State Capitol

CHARGE at the CA Capitol

On Monday, November 6, 2017, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Boys and Men of Color Coalition Helping Achieve Racial and Gender Equity (CHARGE) released the California Asian American and Pacific Islander Report: Executive Summary, based on 813 survey responses from California’s Asian American and Pacific Islander youth ages 12-30.
CHARGE coalition members presented the report’s findings and policy recommendations before the California State Senate Select Committee on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs and the California Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus. During the hearing, AAPI youth and community members from around California shared testimony and personal stories to inform elected officials about the issues facing diverse AAPI communities in California.
Read the Executive Summary and watch the hearing.
SEARAC Executive Director Quyen Dinh and Boys & Men of Color Coordinator Gabriel Garcia testify at the California State Capitol.



Deportation roundups

Close to 200 Cambodian and Vietnamese community members have been rounded up and detained for deportation in the months of October and November, following escalating pressure from the Trump Administration to deport refugees. The Cambodian and Vietnamese consulates recently conducted interviews to determine who would be issued travel documents for removal. Several of the Vietnamese community members detained came to the U.S. as refugees before 1995, and had been previously protected from deportation under a 2008 agreement between the U.S. and Vietnam. The status of this agreement remains uncertain.

California officials speak out

Several high-profile local, state, and federal public officials from the California have issued statements condemning these detentions. Call your Members of Congress today to ask that they stand in solidarity with the Southeast Asian American community by issuing similar statements targeting the White House and DHS. Also consider signing the following petitions supporting Cambodian and Vietnamese communities.

SEARAC advocacy form and rapid response check list

If you or someone you know is impacted by these recent detentions, consider filling out SEARAC’s advocacy data collection form so we can help direct you to resources. Sharing your story will also support the movement to change policies that push refugees and immigrants with criminal records into mandatory detention and deportation. If you are interested in advocating around your case, check out SEARAC’s recent webinar on tools, tips, and resources for impacted families as well as our new rapid response check list.


Enroll for health care by December 15

You can enroll or renew your health coverage through the Affordable Care Act from now until December 15. You will be able to renew your health insurance for 2018, or you can enroll if you do not already have coverage through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, or another type of health coverage. The majority of states are on the federal exchange and use Individuals in these states must sign up by December 15 to obtain health care coverage.
Sign up today! 
December 15 is the FINAL deadline to enroll for 2018. However, some states have taken measures to extend the open enrollment period. Find out the open enrollment deadline in your state.


SEARAC protects major civil rights department

In October, SEARAC and our civil rights partners successfully pushed the US Department of Education not to eliminate its Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) department. The CRDC collects data on civil rights indicators related to access and barriers to educational opportunity from early childhood through grade 12. The department uses this data to investigate allegations of civil rights violations, and provides guidance for schools to protect civil rights.
Many advocates feared that the Trump administration would end this data collection, which would have hampered investigations of civil rights violations and lead to a lack of civil rights enforcement. This fear generated an outpouring of public comments. SEARAC advocated for the continued use and collection of such data to ensure our students’ civil rights are protected. The database can be found here:


SEARAC honored

The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) honored the SEARAC team on November 2 as part of their second annual awards fundraiser: Still Fierce, Still Fighting – Celebrating a Legacy of Activism. NAPAWF also honored NAPAWF founding sister Helen Zia and president of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (and former SEARAC staff), Monica Thammarath.

SEARAC was honored for its work to stop deportations and advance the rights of immigrants and refugees, especially as the national supporter of the ReleaseMN8 campaign. Executive Director Quyen Dinh accepted the award on behalf of SEARAC, and dedicated it to three “women warriors”: Jenny Srey, lead organizer of the ReleaseMN8 campaign, and SEARAC immigration and communications staff, Katrina Dizon Mariategue and Mari Quenemoen.


Soros Equality Fellowship

The Open Society Foundations (OSF) seeks applicants for its Soros Equality Fellowship, which aims to support emerging mid-career professionals who will become long-term innovative leaders impacting the racial justice field. The Fellowship award provides individuals with a grant of $100,000 to support production of an innovative racial justice project over the course of 18 months. Apply by December 20.