CALL FOR QUOTES: Reactions to Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration

Dear AABANY Members,

The Immigration & Nationality Law Committee is in the process of writing a short article to be included in the next issue of the AABANY Advocate, our quarterly newsletter which will be distributed at the Annual Dinner, and we want YOUR voice to be included in this piece. We know you’ve been posting on social media, attending rallies, and educating your friends and families about what’s been going on in the immigration world…and we applaud you! Now it’s time to tell our stories “on the record” to the AABANY legal community, honorees, guests, and sponsors.

Please share stories and quotes we can use in the article about:

  • Your personal/emotional reaction when you learned of the executive orders. Many of us are immigrants ourselves or were born of immigrants, so the experiences of the detained immigrants arriving in the US over the weekend really hit home for us. Tell us how you felt, and what you did in response.
  • How your practice has been affected by the executive orders. How have your conversations with immigrant clients changed? How has your legal strategy shifted? What do you expect for the future of your business? Feel free to share even if you are not an immigration law practitioner, as immigration issues effect many other areas of the law as well.  

Please send your stories and quotations by this Friday, February 3 at 11:59 pm.  Email these quotes to [email protected].

All the best,

Amanda J. Bernardo
Co-chair, AABANY Immigration Law Committee

AABANY Statement Opposing President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

January 30, 2017

Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director
(212) 332-2478

AABANY publicly states its strong opposition to President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order suspending entry of all individuals, including students, visitors and even U.S. lawful permanent residents, from seven Muslim-majority countries and of refugees from all countries. The President’s actions lead the country down a path that is reminiscent of dark periods in American history that Asian Americans know well.

Asian Americans remember the Chinese Exclusion Act, which was enacted in 1882 and lasted over six decades until its repeal in 1943. When the Supreme Court ruled on the legality of the Chinese Exclusion Act, it decided that the law was justified on grounds of national security. The Act targeted a single race, barring all Chinese laborers from entering the U.S. and prohibiting all Chinese, even those who had lived in the U.S. for most of their lives, from becoming naturalized citizens. Upon traveling outside the U.S., even Chinese who had permanently settled into the U.S. were subject to strict interrogation and in many cases barred from re-entry.

Asian Americans remember President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 in 1942, which forcibly relocated and incarcerated people of Japanese descent, including U.S. citizens, in internment camps. Many Japanese Americans lost their homes and possessions, even though a U.S. intelligence report existing at that time determined that Japanese Americans as a whole did not pose a national security threat. January 30 marks the birthday of Fred T. Korematsu, one of the Japanese Americans who challenged the order in court. We can only speculate today whether that undisclosed intelligence report would have yielded a different result in his Supreme Court case. We should strive to learn the lessons of history and not allow fear and bigotry to lead to similar injustices in present day America.

President Trump’ s Executive Order appears to be grounded in racism and xenophobia, discriminating against a population in the name of national security. Targeting this population violates the most fundamental and core values of America, a country founded by immigrants and religious freedom.

What AABANY is doing includes:

  • ●          AABANY and Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York (FALA-New York) are co-hosting a webinar on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. ET on “Understanding Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration” to provide greater understanding of these orders and their impact on the immigrant community.
  • ●          AABANY is collaborating with other bar organizations to hold a CLE workshop on habeas corpus that will allow volunteers to provide emergency legal services to detained persons from affected countries in U.S. airports.
  • ●          AABANY has joined Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Immigrant Defense Fund and will coordinate with the Office of New Americans on programs and initiatives to provide representation and assistance to immigrants.
  • ●          AABANY will continue to collaborate with organizations such as the New York Immigration Coalition on identifying ways to address the needs of affected populations in light of President Trump’s Executive Order. 
  • We invite and encourage attorneys to contact us if they wish to volunteer for any of the above. We invite members of the public to contact us if they need assistance. AABANY can be contacted by email at[email protected] or by phone at (212) 332-2478.

    For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-2478, or direct any inquiries to [email protected].

    The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole. AABANY is the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

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    January 30, 2017

    Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director

    (212) 332-2478

    New York – January 30, 2017 – The Asian American Bar Association
    of New York (“AABANY”) is proud to announce that it was honored with a 2016 Bar
    Leaders Innovation Award for its Seventh Annual Fall Conference: Speak Up | Rise Up |
    Lift Up. The award was bestowed
    by the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), Committee for Bar Leaders of New
    York State, at the NYSBA Annual Meeting held at the Midtown Hilton in
    Manhattan, during the final day of the conference on January 27.

    According to NYSBA, “the award is presented in statewide
    recognition of local, minority, ethnic, specialty, special purpose bar
    associations, and the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York for outstanding
    service to the public and the profession through innovative projects and programs
    that serve to enhance public understanding of the law, advance and promote the
    work of the legal profession, and support the best interests of the public.”
    AABANY received its honor in the category of medium-sized bar associations (500-1,999
    members). Other honorees included the Association of Black Women Attorneys, the
    Dominican Bar Association, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the Women’s
    Bar Association of the State of New York, and the Caribbean Attorneys Network.

    AABANY’s Seventh Annual Fall Conference took place on September 24,
    2016 at the New York offices of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
    LLP. As a primarily volunteer-driven organization with about 1,100
    members, the 2016 Annual Fall Conference attracted more than 400 attendees. The
    Conference offered 19 separate CLE and non-CLE programs, the second annual
    Diversity Career Fair & Expo, Pitch Sessions, Judiciary Bootcamp and Group
    Mentoring. Building on past successes, AABANY tackled each aspect of this
    year’s conference with an innovative approach and an eye towards impact. The
    Fall Conference accomplished many objectives: giving important updates on the
    hottest legal trends, establishing a leadership pipeline to both the top of
    AABANY’s organization and the top of the profession, providing a forum for
    meaningful business and personal connections to be made, and exposing
    participants to different career options in New York.

    “On behalf of AABANY, we
    thank NYSBA’s Committee for Bar Leaders of New York State for this important
    award and its recognition of our innovative efforts to engage our membership and
    the larger legal community to which it belongs,” said AABANY
    President-elect Dwight Yoo, Partner at Skadden, Arps. “Organizing and
    presenting this conference for the seventh consecutive year called upon
    tremendous team work among AABANY’s leaders, members and supporters. This award
    was truly earned by the talents and energies of all who participated in it. We
    are humbled and pleased to receive this honor.” 

    For more information, please
    contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-2478, or direct any
    inquiries to [email protected].

    The Asian American Bar
    Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with
    issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Incorporated in 1989, AABANY
    seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to
    advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole. AABANY is the New
    York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association


    NAPABA and SABA Condemn Anti-Immigrant Executive Orders

    For Immediate Release
    Jan. 26, 2017

    WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) condemn the anti-immigrant and xenophobic Executive Orders issued yesterday by President Trump. Notably, the orders (1) revive the “Secure Communities” immigration enforcement program, which was previously criticized for promoting racial profiling by local law enforcement officials who were required to enforce federal immigration laws, (2) implement policies that may result in the deportation of tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants who pose no threat to the American people, and (3) strip federal funding from “sanctuary cities,” that protect countless immigrants and their families by refusing to prosecute residents for violations of federal immigration laws.

    The policies announced yesterday encourage racial and religious profiling and almost exclusively target communities of color. There are 1.3 million undocumented Asian Pacific Americans, including those brought to the United States as children, whose families will be directly affected by these orders. In recent months, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian Americans have been the targets of more hate incidents and violence than at any time since the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11 — with a noticeable increase in anti-immigrant bias. These Executive Orders that breed distrust of immigrants will only serve to make our communities less safe.

    “Actions like the President’s executive orders have been shown in the past to discourage victims from reporting crimes to law enforcement officials because of fear of prosecution based on immigration status and threatens the years of progress we have made towards creating safer communities,” said NAPABA President Cyndie Chang. “As attorneys, we are committed to ensuring that all persons in the United States have equal access to justice and the ability to seek assistance from law enforcement without fear of reprisal or harm.”

    “The President’s actions demonize and stigmatize groups of people and further the divisions in our country, while reinforcing the fear and distrust permeating our communities,” stated Vichal Kumar, president of SABA. “With the stroke of a pen, these divisive actions have caused grave uncertainty, shock and grief amongst our must vulnerable. We must continue to provide safety and security for our communities and not allow these divisive actions to further tear us part.”

    These orders, along with the reportedly forthcoming executive actions to restrict immigration based on nationality and religion and to close our borders to refugees, represent a rejection of our core values as a country, which has always welcomed those who have been forced to flee their homes to escape conflict or persecution. These actions also represent a step backwards in decades-long efforts to create trust between law enforcement agencies, immigrant communities, and the broader American public — which is a critical component of public safety for all Americans.

    Sanctuary policies promote positive relationships between law enforcement and immigrant communities and studies indicate they have not led to increases in crime. Local jurisdictions have enacted these policies to encourage victims and witnesses of crimes to step forward as a matter of public safety. Threatening funding for such jurisdictions may jeopardize the effective operation of our legal system and public safety for all Americans.

    The orders further criminalize immigrant communities and will lead to an increase in detention and deportation. The orders expand enforcement priorities to include anyone convicted of any crime, without respect to the seriousness of the crime, and those who are not charged with a crime. Further, Secure Communities led to an increase in racial and national origin profiling by law enforcement resulting in thousands of U.S. citizens being detained.

    Immigrant communities and their families contribute to our nation, regardless of origin or status. As attorneys whose families come from a wide range of immigrant and religious backgrounds, we understand that these policies will not make us safer or unite us as a country and NAPABA and SABA will continue to stand up for the rights of immigrants and religious minorities. We encourage our members and all members of the legal community to join us to stand up for the rights of our communities.

    For more information, contact:

    Brett Schuster
    Communications Manager
    (202) 775-9555
    [email protected]

    Aneesh Mehta
    Vice President of Public Relations
    SABA North America
    (770) 316-9018
    [email protected]

    NAPABA is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

    SABA North America (formerly NASABA/North American South Asian Bar Association) is a voluntary bar organization and serves as an umbrella organization to 26 chapters in the United States and Canada. SABA North America is a recognized forum for professional growth and advancement for South Asian attorneys in North America and seeks to protect the rights and liberties of the South Asian community across the continent. Learn more at



    NAPABA Solo & Small Firm Network Webinar Series: Steering Clear of Disciplinary Trouble in Today’s Legal Practice Environment

    Speakers | Wendy Wen Yun Chang (Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson; member, ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility) and Ellyn Rosen (Deputy Director of ABA Center for Professional Responsibility)

    Webinar date/time | Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, at 4 p.m. EST

    Registration link |

    In today’s legal services marketplace, more and more solo and small firm lawyers are facing challenges not only in terms competition with new forms of legal service providers, but also with regard to practices that could result in disciplinary complaints. We will have a panel of experts who will discuss simple steps that lawyers can take to reduce the risk of becoming the subject of a disciplinary complaint and what to do if they are on the receiving end of a grievance. In particular, the discussion will focus on areas that result in the most disciplinary complaints: Model Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 (Competence), 1.4 (Communication), 1.5 (Fees), 1.6 (Confidentiality), and 1.15 (Safekeeping Property).  

    This webinar is the result of collaborative efforts of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility and NAPABA.

    Please e-mail Kristin Haugen, chair of the CLE & Programming Sub-committee of the SSF Network at [email protected] for any questions.

    National Asian Pacific American Bar Association | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, D.C. 20006 |