NAPABA Statement on the Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) expresses its grave concern at the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan. The United States has historically been a beacon to those fleeing oppression and persecution, and NAPABA has long championed resettlement and humanitarian protections for refugees and asylum seekers. In the case of Afghan nationals who have risked their lives to support the efforts of the United States government or the International Security Assistance Force, including as interpreters, NAPABA urges the Administration to expeditiously safeguard, evacuate, and process at-risk Special Immigrant Visa eligible persons and ensure that our refugee and asylum system is equipped to handle the influx of those facing immediate threat by the Taliban, including women, children, and religious, and ethnic minorities.

“As a former flag officer in the United States Navy, I greatly appreciate the danger and risk that our Afghan colleagues assumed in order to support the global war on terrorism in Afghanistan and to secure the country from the repressive rule of the Taliban, who banned education for girls, and severely restricted the rights and freedom of women,” said A.B. Cruz III, President of NAPABA. “We must ensure that those who risked so much to support our mission are not forgotten or left behind, and that women, children, and others at risk can be protected.”

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.

KAPA presents: What Happened to Danny Chen?

Last October, Private Danny Chen was found dead in a guard tower in Afghanistan, allegedly from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Although admitting that Pvt. Chen was subject to daily physical abuse and race-based hazing by his superior officers and comrades, the military initially provided little information about its investigation to the grieving Chen family. This changed only after Organization of Chinese Americans-NY Chapter (OCA-NY) spearheaded a tremendous organizing and advocacy campaign to bring justice to Pvt. Chen and his family. Eight soldiers are now facing charges ranging from dereliction of duty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with his death.

On Wednesday, February 15, KAPA will host a speaker series event featuring OCA-NY President Liz OuYang and Board member Esther Choi. They will speak about the history of this case, the likelihood that those responsible for Pvt. Chen’s death will be brought to justice, civil rights issues and lessons learned for the Asian American community, and next steps.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Arnold & Porter LLP
399 Park Avenue (between 53rd & 54th Streets)


RSVP via Facebook here or email KAPA Steering Committee member Jennifer Kim at [email protected].