Southeast Asian refugees represent the largest refugee community ever to be resettled in the United States, after being forcefully displaced by U.S. war and its aftermath in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam in the 1970s. Refugees were often resettled in urban centers of concentrated poverty with few social or economic supports. Families struggled to help their children navigate failing schools and racialized bullying. Southeast Asian American young people were disproportionately swept into gangs and violence. As a result, today Southeast Asian refugees are at least three times more likely to be deported on the basis of an old criminal conviction, compared to other immigrants.
SEARAC advocates for the dignity and rights of Southeast Asian refugees with old criminal convictions to stay together with their families. We fight for policy changes to restore fairness and flexibility to immigration laws that make deportation mandatory and irreversible regardless of the individual circumstances of each case. Our advocacy is grounded in the principles of fairness, family, and second chances.
SEARAC also fights to preserve our family-based immigration system. On average, more than 90% of Southeast Asian Americans who received green cards in 2017 did so because of family-based immigration, with more than 22,000 families benefiting from extended family visa sponsorship of siblings, parents, and adult children in 2016.
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Latest national immigration news
Hmong/Lao Americans with Removal Orders Should Seek Legal Assistance Washington, DC - We learned that in 2019 the US State ...Read More
Washington, DC - Last week, the Trump Administration expanded its Muslim ban to include travel restrictions for six additional countries: Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, ...Read More
Washington, DC - SEARAC is appalled at yesterday's Supreme Court decision to uphold the Trump Administration's "public charge" regulation. In a 5-4 ...Read More
Washington, DC - Three years ago today, the Trump Administration placed a travel ban on several Muslim-majority nations that has continued to ...Read More
WASHINGTON, DC - Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Prisoner Support Committee, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, Southeast Asian Freedom Network, and ...Read More
Latest California immigration news
As 2019 quickly comes to a close and a new decade emerges, SEARAC reflects on the wins and hopes of ...Read More
Sacramento, CA - SEARAC is happy to announce that California Gov. Gavin Newsom granted pardons yesterday for two Cambodian refugees ...Read More
Southeast Asian American families and communities, along with immigrant, refugee, and families of color continue to experience the relentless attacks ...Read More
SACRAMENTO, CA - Yesterday, SEARAC, along with a coalition of criminal justice and immigrant rights organizations, met with members of California ...Read More
Contacts: Gabriel Garcia, firstname.lastname@example.org, for education equity advocacy Lee Lo, email@example.com, for health equity advocacy Nkauj Iab Yang, firstname.lastname@example.org, for ...Read More