On Thursday, April 11, AABANY hosted a screening of “Blowin’ Up,” a feature documentary that explores the complex realities of sex work in New York City and the compassionate approach of a human trafficking court in Queens County. The film features AABANY member Honorable Toko Serita, Queens Supreme Court, as well as other heroines of the Human Trafficking Intervention Court, that work with victims of sexual exploitation who face prostitution-related charges.
After the screening, Beatrice Leong, AABANY Government Service and Public Interest Committee Co-Chair, led a panel discussion featuring speakers from the NYPD/FBI Joint Human Trafficking Task Force and a Queens Assistant District Attorney who prosecutes human traffickers. The panelists talked about how they worked together to prosecute the traffickers and how one can identify and help a suspected trafficking victim. The panel gave important insight into how gangs and traffickers target their victims, and the audience learned that many victims are new immigrants, local high school students or children in the foster care system. “Drugs can only be used once, but a person can be used over and over.”
April’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic, held on Wednesday, April 10 at 33 Bowery Street in Confucius Plaza, brought out 20 lawyers and 8 interpreters who volunteered their time to help 32 clients.
At this month’s clinic, we also presented videos created in partnership with AARP to prevent immigration fraud. In the videos, former Immigration Law Committee co-chairs Susan Akina and Amanda Bernardo provided tips and advice on how to avoid being a victim of immigration scams. Scammers pretend to provide quality legal advice, help with paperwork, or other tasks involved in the immigration process. The scammer usually asks for an upfront fee, takes the money, and disappears immediately. Or worse, they provide ineffective or even harmful representation by filing the wrong paperwork, using fraudulent measures, or misrepresenting facts. Susan and Amanda stressed how important it is to only work with qualified immigration lawyers.
To see Susan’s and Amanda’s videos, click on the following links:
We are asking every member to actively support AABANY’s Monthly Pro
Bono Clinic by making donations that are vital to its continuing
operation. In a few short years, with the tireless and generous
assistance of our volunteers, we have helped hundreds of low-income
clients with free legal advice and referrals to high-quality, culturally
sensitive, and linguistically competent legal services. Together we
have helped expand access to justice for underserved Asian American New
If you know family members, friends, or businesses, such as your
firm, who would like to support the Clinic, please help us connect with
them by contacting Karen Yau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or please urge them to make a donation directly. They can visit the
website of Asian American Law Fund of New York (AALFNY), AABANY’s
501(c)(3) affiliate: https://www.asianamericanlawfund.org/donate/ AALFNY
is accepting charitable donations on the Clinic’s behalf and can issue
any donor a tax receipt. Any contribution, large or small, would help.
Please be sure to indicate in the memo field that the donation is
intended for the Pro Bono Clinic.
Thank you to all of the April Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!
Kathy Yung Beatrice Leong Angela Wu Gloria Tsui-Yip Mayumi Cindy Iijima Zhixian Liu Anna Jinhua Wang Eun Hye (Grace) Lee Xianxiao Li (Emily) Amanda Bernardo Samantha Sumilang Kevin Hsi Barbara Hayes Christopher Chin Sae-Eun Ahn Kwok Kei Ng Pauline Yeung-Ha Ming Chu Lee Karen Kithan Yau Asako Aiba
Alva Lin Justina Chen Emily Arakawa Derek Ting-Che Tai Weiling Huang Jessica Wang Satoshi Kurita Ruth Poon
Special thanks to Johnny Thach and Kwan Shun Jason Cheung for coordinating the clinic, and the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Co-Chairs Karen Kithan Yau, Pauline Yeung-Ha, Judy Lee and Asako Aiba for their leadership.
If you are interested in volunteering at next month’s Pro Bono Clinic on May 8, please contact Asako Aiba at email@example.com. AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic occurs every second Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.
On Tuesday, April 9, 2019, Glenn Magpantay, the Executive Director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), was honored at Brooklyn Law School’s Public Service Awards Ceremony.
Glenn Manpantay, a former AABANY Board member and a current co-chair of the LGBT Committee, was presented with Brooklyn Law School’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Public Service, in recognition of his incredible devotion to educating and fighting for LGBT equality, racial justice and immigrant rights.
Please join AABANY in congratulating Glenn Manpantay for this well-deserved award and honor.
We thank Kevin Hsi for providing the photos for this blog post.