NEW YORK – September 18, 2017. The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) congratulates the Honorable Doris Ling-Cohan on being honored with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s (NAPABA) 2017 Women’s Leadership Award. The Women’s Leadership Award, which will be presented on November 4, 2017 at the 2017 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C, recognizes Justice Ling-Cohan’s barrier-breaking career, her commitment to the advancement of women and Asian Pacific Americans, and her role as a force for change and progress in the Asian Pacific American (APA) legal community.
A native New Yorker, Justice Ling-Cohan’s professional career is a narrative of service to the law, the community, and the disadvantaged. Justice Ling-Cohan served as a legal services attorney and Assistant Attorney General before joining the bench. Justice Ling-Cohan was the first APA public official to be elected in the Chinatown district in 1995, the first APA woman elected to the New York State Supreme Court in 2002, and the first APA woman appointed to an appellate court in New York State in 2014.
Justice Ling-Cohan is a pioneer, not only for women and APAs, but also for justice and social equality. In her 2005 ruling in Hernandez v Robles, Justice Ling-Cohan became the first trial judge in the state to rule in favor of marriage equality, a stand for social justice long before it entered popular favor. Justice Ling-Cohan’s commitment to fairness and to uplifting the vulnerable in our society make her leadership exemplary.
Inspired by the experiences of her youth, when her immigrant mother endured a confusing and upsetting Family Court hearing after being assaulted in Brooklyn, Justice Ling-Cohan has dedicated her professional life to promoting equal access to justice. Her efforts have been recognized by the National Law Journal, New York Post, and the New York State Dispute Resolution Association. One of the many ways that Justice Ling-Cohan gives to the community is through Womankind, an organization she helped to found, committed to serving APA women suffering from domestic violence. Justice Ling-Cohan makes it clear that inequalities and injustice can be effectively addressed, and inspires us to take up that fight.
“Justice Ling-Cohan is a Founding Board Member of AABANY and prior Vice President,” states AABANY President Dwight Yoo. “In the over 27 years since she helped to found the organization, AABANY has witnessed first-hand Justice Ling-Cohan’s commitment to women and the APA community. Justice Ling-Cohan’s historic rise to the bench as an APA woman, her dedication to women’s issues, her tireless pursuit of justice, and her support of the APA community make her an ideal candidate to receive NAPABA’s 2017 Women’s Leadership Award. We commend NAPABA on recognizing Justice Ling-Cohan with this prestigious and well-deserved honor.”
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 a New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Jessie K. Liu to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Liu is the first Asian Pacific American and the second woman to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
“We congratulate Jessie Liu on her historic confirmation,” said Cyndie M. Chang, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) president. “Ms. Liu’s confirmation reflects the important strides Asian Pacific Americans and women are making in the law.”
A longtime member of the Asian Pacific American legal community, Liu served as a co-chair of the 2012 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C. She is also a recipient of the NAPABA Best Under 40 Award.
A litigator with almost 20 years of experience, Liu has a history of federal government service. She served most recently as the Deputy General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury. She previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia for four years and in several senior positions in the U.S. Department of Justice for three years, including as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division, counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, and Deputy Chief of Staff for the National Security Division. She also was a partner at the law firms Morrison & Foerster LLP and Jenner & Block LLP.
Liu clerked for then-Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Houston, Texas. She received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her J.D. from Yale Law School.
NAPABA is proud to have supported Jessie Liu during her nomination. We thank President Trump for nominating her to the position.
Order Protects Immigrants in New York From Fear and Intimidation
Action Also Forbids Law Enforcement Officers from Inquiring About or Disclosing Immigration Status Unless Investigating Illegal Criminal Activity
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued Executive Order 170 that prohibits state agencies and officers from inquiring about or disclosing an individual’s immigration status unless required by law or necessary to determine eligibility for a benefit or service. Law enforcement officers will also be prohibited from inquiring about immigration status unless investigating illegal criminal activity. This prohibition against inquiring into status includes, but is not limited to, when an individual approaches a law enforcement officer seeking assistance, is the victim of a crime, or is witness to a crime.
“As Washington squabbles over rolling back sensible immigration policy, we are taking action to help protect all New Yorkers from unwarranted targeting by government,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York became the Empire State due to the contributions of immigrants from every corner of the globe and we will not let the politics of fear and intimidation divide us.”
The Executive Order builds on Governor Cuomo’s commitment to ensure full protections for all immigrants in New York. In March, Governor Cuomo launched the Liberty Defense Project, the nation’s first public-private immigrant legal defense initiative, to respond to the surge in demand for help that is overwhelming nonprofit organizations serving immigrants. The partnership is supported by more than $10 million in funding to offer legal assistance and representation to immigrants in New York, regardless of their status, through a statewide network of attorneys and advocacy organizations.
Protecting New York’s Immigrants
New York State has and continues to serve as a beacon for immigrants. For the past five years, New York State, through the Office for New Americans, has helped immigrants fully participate in New York State civic and economic life through a network of 27 community-based centers around the state that provide English classes, civic education, guidance on how to start / grow a business, and naturalization assistance. ONA also has a hotline, a toll-free, multi-lingual information center, as well as a dedicated website that guides New Americans to available resources. The hotline number is 800-566-7636 (operating 9AM-8PM (ET), Monday through Friday) and the website is www.newamericans.ny.gov.
Since taking office, the Governor has taken aggressive steps to provide assistance to immigrant communities. In 2011, he signed a wide-reaching Executive Order to ensure language access across state agencies, suspended the State’s participation in a federal program that required local law enforcement to help identify deportable individuals, signed legislation holding entities that defraud immigrants accountable, and established the Office for New Americans. He launched NaturalizeNY, the first public-private partnership of its kind to encourage and assist eligible immigrants in New York State with becoming U.S. citizens. As Attorney General, Governor Cuomo also worked to combat immigration fraud, having utilized general civil rights laws to successfully investigate and prosecute companies for defrauding immigrants. He also secured court judgments and settlements in excess of $23 million dollars on behalf of the state’s immigrant population.
The signed executive order can be viewed here, and its text is available below:
E X E C U T I V E O R D E R
STATE POLICY CONCERNING IMMIGRANT ACCESS TO STATE SERVICES
WHEREAS, New York State will remain true to the ideals that founded this country, and will continue to welcome immigrants as a source of energy, and celebrate them as a source of revitalization for our State; and
WHEREAS, New York State’s residents make up one of the nation’s most diverse communities, as over 4.3 million immigrants reside within the State and over twenty percent of the State’s population is foreign-born; and
WHEREAS, immigrants residing in New York State are an essential part of the economic fabric of this State, as over 29% of all business owners in New York are foreign-born, such businesses generate millions of dollars in total net income, and the combined purchasing power of immigrant communities exceeds $165 billion dollars; and
WHEREAS, the reporting of unlawful activity by immigrant witnesses and victims is critical to strengthening ties between immigrants and law enforcement, reducing crime, and enhancing the State’s ability to protect the safety of all of its residents; and
WHEREAS, the New York State Constitution and the New York State Human Rights Law protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of national origin in the areas of education, benefits, employment, housing, and public accommodation, and the State is committed to enforcing those protections to the fullest extent of the law; and
WHEREAS, State government has a responsibility to ensure that services are provided equally, and consistent with civil rights laws, to all individuals eligible to receive them; and
WHEREAS, access to State services is critical to the vitality and well-being of immigrant communities and their continued integration into the State’s economic, civil, and cultural life; and
WHEREAS, providing State services to immigrant communities is necessary to meet the needs of the State’s diverse population, to maintain public confidence in State government and its agencies, and to comply with State and Federal civil rights laws; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of New York, do hereby order as follows:
1. "State entity" shall mean (i) all agencies and departments over which the Governor has executive authority, and (ii) all public benefit corporations, public authorities, boards, and commissions, for which the Governor appoints the Chair, the Chief Executive, or the majority of Board members, except for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
2. "Alien" shall mean any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States.
3. "Illegal activity" shall mean any unlawful activity that constitutes a crime under state or federal law. However, an individual’s status as an undocumented alien does not constitute unlawful activity.
B. Agency and Authority Responsibilities Respecting the Privacy of Personal Information
1. No State officers or employees, other than law enforcement officers as provided in B.3 infra, shall inquire about an individual’s immigration status unless:
a. The status of such individual is necessary to determine his or her eligibility for a program, benefit, or the provision of a service; or
b. The State officer or employee is required by law to inquire about such individual’s status.
2. No State officers or employees, including law enforcement officers, shall disclose information to federal immigration authorities for the purpose of federal civil immigration enforcement, unless required by law. Notwithstanding such prohibition, this Order does not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any state employee from sending to, or receiving from, federal immigration authorities, information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual, as required by law.
3. No law enforcement officers shall inquire about an individual’s immigration status unless investigating such individual’s illegal activity, provided however that such inquiry is relevant to the illegal activity under investigation. Nothing in this section shall restrict law enforcement officers from seeking documents for the purpose of identification following arrest.
a. This prohibition against inquiring into status includes, but is not limited to, when an individual approaches a law enforcement officer seeking assistance, is the victim of a crime, or is witness to a crime.
b. Law enforcement officers may not use resources, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting and apprehending any individual suspected or wanted only for violating a civil immigration offense. Law enforcement officers have no authority to take any police action solely because the person is an undocumented alien. This includes identifying, questioning, detaining, or demanding to inspect federal immigration documents.
G I V E N under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State in the City of Albany this fifteenth day of September in the year two thousand seventeen.