Sign up to help the National Election Protection API Voter Hotline
With Super Tuesday coming soon, APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC are seeking bilingual volunteers to support the National Election Protection API Voter Hotline on and leading up to March 5! Hotline volunteers answer voters’ questions and volunteers are needed to support the following language lines:
Hindi and Urdu
The next training session is February 24 at 2:00 PM ET /11:00 AM PT but additional trainings will be available in the future. Sign up for the training.
Here’s what you can expect as a volunteer on a normal day:
Check for voicemails 1 – 2 times per day.
Return calls to voters who left voicemails asking for voter assistance.
You can sign up for any days you’re available! No minimum, no maximum.
Provide live assistance on Super Tuesday on March 5th!
Be supported every step of the way by our co-captains
Hotline captains will host weekly office hours on Zoom.
No prior experience is required – all training will be provided via Zoom and throughout the election cycle.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC Applauds Removal of the Rounds Amendment from the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act
Discriminatory amendment would have prohibited certain foreign nationals, including Chinese foreign nationals, from owning land in the U.S.
WASHINGTON – Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian American Justice Center (Advancing Justice – AAJC) today commended lawmakers’ decision to strike S. 2226 § 1086 (Senate Amendment 813) introduced by Sen. Mike Rounds (R-ND) amendment in the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
If included, this discriminatory amendment would have effectively prohibited certain foreign nationals, including Chinese foreign nationals, from purchasing U.S. agricultural land — continuing the pattern of a nation-wide resurgence of so-called “alien” land laws that have been introduced in at least 27 states and enacted in at least eight.
A coalition of Asian American and allied organizations took swift and sustained action to oppose this amendment and urge lawmakers to take it out of the final conference report language.
The Rounds amendment is the continuation of a long legacy of unnecessary legislation that leads to harmful profiling of and violence towards the Asian American community. In America’s history such legislation unfairly targeted Asian Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries through anti-immigration laws, land ownership prohibitions, incarceration of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II, and other efforts that sought to exclude members of the community. This racist and xenophobic behavior has continued from the murder of Vincent Chin in 1982 to the murders of Sikh Americans and the racial profiling of Muslim Americans in a post-9/11 environment. Asian Americans are too often considered to be “perpetual foreigners.”
Approximately 27 organizations joined Asian American Advancing Justice – AAJC in submitting a formal letter to NDAA conferees Senate Armed Services Chairman Jack Reed and Ranking Member Roger Ricker, as well as House Armed Services Mike Rogers and Ranking Member Adam Smith, urging them to “prohibit the inclusion of provisions that would effectively bar foreign nationals – including Chinese foreign nationals – from acquiring certain types of U.S. agricultural land.” The letter continued by encouraging them to “strike provisions that stoke racial animus, bias, and discrimination, as well as undermine Asian American participation in the Armed Services.”
John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Advancing Justice – AAJC said, “We are very pleased that Congress listened to the concerns from our communities and did not include this harmful amendment in the NDAA. We are not naïve to the legitimate and credible threats that the Chinese Communist Party has on U.S. national security interests when it comes to the issue of espionage, and we are certain that Congress and the federal government can take a more responsible and targeted approach to combating foreign malign influence that does not result in the racial profiling of our community members.”
“Like so many similar discriminatory laws and bills of this nations, the Rounds amendment would have ensnared innocent Chinese individuals because the language failed to meaningfully distinguish between entities from China and individuals from China,” said Joanna YangQing Derman, Director of Anti-Profiling, Civil Rights and National Security at Advancing Justice – AAJC. “We are proud to have worked with a strong coalition of partners to call out this discrimination and put Congress and the government on notice that we will push back on any bills that cause harm to our communities.”
“As an organization representing Iranian Americans, it is critically important to underscore that people are not their governments. Equating the two is what led to the creation of the Rounds amendment, and we will continue to combat legislation that seeks to enshrine blatant xenophobia and undermine civil rights. We are grateful to our multiethnic coalition and network of volunteers who worked tirelessly to advocate against this amendment until its defeat,” said Jamal Abdi, President of National Iranian American Council Action.
“The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and its affiliates across the country have worked to combat discriminatory anti-Asian alien land laws. They are a relic from the early 20th century and ought to remain in the dustbin of history. Instead of focusing on adversarial governmental entities, these bills instead target innocent individuals and wrongfully perpetuates harmful stereotypes about the loyalties of Asian Americans. While policymakers are free to address the legitimate national security concerns of the United States, they may not pursue discriminatory policies on the backs of the Asian American community,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA.
“We commend the removal of the Rounds Amendment from the NDAA,” said Cynthia Choi, Co-Founder of Stop AAPI Hate and Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action. “Had this xenophobic measure been enacted, it would have contributed to the alarming surge in anti-Asian political scapegoating we’re seeing today. Policies like this fuel the harmful ‘perpetual foreigner’ trope that wrongly paints Asian Americans as outsiders and suspects in the country we call home — further stoking hate against our communities. We firmly believe that our leaders can and should address legitimate national security threats without resorting to measures that scapegoat entire groups of people and worsen anti-Asian racism and discrimination.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC has a mission to advance the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. Visit our website at advancingjustice-aajc.org.
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 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 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.
NAPABA | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 300 | Washington, DC 20006 | www.napaba.org
WASHINGTON – February 28, 2023. President Joe Biden nominated Julie Ann Su to serve as Secretary of Labor. NAPABA applauds this historic announcement, and endorsed Ms. Su’s nomination earlier this month.
“Julie Su is one of the most qualified individuals to be nominated to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor,” said Sandra Leung, President of NAPABA. “If confirmed, she will be the first Asian American to lead an executive department in the Cabinet of the Biden Administration. We are proud that an accomplished member of the Asian American legal community and NAPABA can serve the country in this role. We thank President Biden for honoring his commitment to diversity within the Administration and urge the Senate to quickly confirm Julie Su as Secretary of Labor.”
“Julie Su is an experienced labor rights advocate and attorney, with a long record of protecting workers’ rights and fighting for social justice,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA. “She is an experienced leader and public servant who has dedicated her career to protecting the rights of workers of all backgrounds across the country. A recognized leader within the legal and Asian American community, we can think of no better nominee to serve our country.”
In 2014, NAPABA honored Ms. Su with its highest honor, the Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award, which recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of attorneys who have paved the way for the advancement of others in the community.
Ms. Su currently serves as Deputy Secretary of Labor and previously served as California Labor Secretary. She has a demonstrated commitment to public service, having been California Labor Commissioner, Litigation Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, and taught at UCLA Law School and Northeastern Law School. Ms. Su was a recipient of the 2019 American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Award and a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius” Grant. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Stanford University.
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.
AABANY has joined as a co-signatory to the amicus brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization filed by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC).
In a press release, AAJC stated:
The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC (Advancing Justice – AAJC), with Duane Morris LLP, filed an amicus brief urging the nation’s highest court to reject a call by the state of Mississippi to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow individual states to ban or end the legal right to abortion.
The amicus, or the “friend of the court” brief, represents 29 community and civil rights organizations, as well as bar associations, representing the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander women in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Dobbs case is a challenge, brought by the independent and sole abortion care in Mississippi, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, to the state’s 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
To read the full press release and the amicus brief, click here.
President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC and NAPABA Past President John C. Yang is among the five honorees of the American Bar Association’s 2021 Spirit of Excellence Award. NAPABA proudly congratulates John for his illustrious accomplishments in every facet of the legal profession and for championing the Asian American & Pacific Islander community.
The Spirit of Excellence Award celebrates the efforts and accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. The awards are presented to lawyers who excel in their professional settings; who personify excellence on the national, state, or local level; and who have demonstrated a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the law.
John has achieved professional excellence in his wide-ranging career that has spanned four different practice settings. He has served as partner at a law firm practice in Washington, DC; led as a Director of Legal affairs at a Fortune 200 company in Shanghai, China; served as a Senior Advisor within the Obama Administration; and most recently, directs the organizational efforts to fight for civil rights and empowering Asian Americans to create a more just America at the Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.
At each stage of John’s career, he has served as a leader, role model, and mentor to countless racially and ethnically diverse individuals, helping to guide many promising lawyers’ careers. John has tirelessly promoted and supported attorneys who were interested in pursuing a federal judgeship, resulting in the nomination and confirmation of more than 25 Asian American Article III judges. His work has also opened doors for attorneys interested in serving in presidential administrations.
John’s advocacy has reached far beyond the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. In addition to his leadership roles within NAPABA, John has served as Chair of the Minority Caucus of the ABA House of Delegates where he worked closely with bars of color to advance distinct and unifying agenda items and resolutions and he has served on the ABA Commission on Racial & Ethnic Diversity. Present day, John serves on the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC where he collaborates closely in coalition with other organizations representing the interests of minority groups.
John used his parents’ experiences as well as the injustices that he personally encountered as an immigrant to the United States from Taiwan to navigate his own path while blazing a trail for others to follow. NAPABA is proud to have supported John’s nomination as a Spirit of Excellence honoree.
Spirit of Excellence Ceremony
NAPABA invites you to join in celebration as John is recognized and honored at the ABA Spirit of Excellence Award Virtual Ceremony on February 18 at 5 PM ET. In addition to John, honorees include Barbara L. Creel, Román D. Hernández, Sherrilyn Ifill, and Lori E. Lightfoot. To register for the awards ceremony during the ABA Midyear Meeting, please click here.
Advancing Justice | AAJC’s Youth Leadership Summit is a three-day leadership development program for high-achieving college students. The 2016 summit, which will be held on Sept. 22–24, will bring 25 student leaders to Washington, D.C., for three days of advocacy training and leadership development workshops focused on civic engagement. The Youth Summit provides a unique opportunity for young advocates from across the country to both interact with their peers as well as learn from and network with national leaders.
In response to the recent case of Sherry Chen, a federal employee who was arrested on suspicion of espionage for China before all charges were suddenly dismissed, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) issues the following statement:
As a leading national civil rights voice rooted in Asian American communities, we demand an investigation into whether race and national origin played a role in the shameful indictment of Sherry Chen, a dedicated scientist with the National Weather Service. Because Ms. Chen’s case is not unique or isolated, we further call upon the Administration to examine systemic racial bias against Asian Americans in all federal agencies, particularly those with jobs requiring security clearances.
Ms. Chen is only the most recent victim of over-zealous federal investigators and prosecutors who view with suspicion any ties with family and friends in other countries, particularly China. Clearly, the system has perverse incentives, rewarding law enforcement officials for high-profile prosecutions that fit the narrative of the foreign threat as opposed to rewarding them for a fair and careful consideration of the facts.
Ironically, Asians immigrate to the U.S. because our country claims to offer freedom, a fair process and protections for all, regardless of race and class. We know that this promise has not held true for communities of color, for example, for African Americans in the criminal justice system. Neither is the system working for well-educated Chinese Americans who may have assumed that their privileged economic status would protect them against racial bias.
As Sherry Chen’s case, as well as past cases such as the unjust prosecution of fellow federal scientist Wen Ho Lee indicate, the national security system is set up to feed biases and suspicion of “foreigners”. In the recent past, we have been contacted by other Asian Americans who have faced questions because of visits to their countries of origin, participation in ethnic organizations, or contacts with Chinese friends and family. This racial profiling is unacceptable.
Our community cannot wait for the government to act. We must also protect our rights. Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus has created this Know Your Rights guide for scientists and other individuals who are contacted by law enforcement agents. Our national affiliation will continue to champion the rights of our communities and all Americans whenever civil rights and civil liberties are violated on the pretext of national security.
Please join the Asian American Federation and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA for the release of our newest report:
Making America Work: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the Workforce and Business 2014
Friday, February 27, 2015 10 AM to Noon
114 West 47th Street New York, NY Ground Floor Auditorium (between 6th & 7th Avenues)
This event is generously hosted by Bank of America.
We will present the key findings of Making America Work, our report focusing on how Asian Americans contribute to the economy. The report includes a look at the impact of the Great Recession on the net worth of Asian Americans, the breadth of jobs and industries in which Asian Americans are major contributors, and the job creation and economic activity generated by Asian American-owned businesses. We also examine how Asian immigrants and low-wage workers play an important role in the economy. Lastly, we conclude with a number of recommendations to help Asian Americans overcome barriers to further success.
RSVP: Please reply with the names of attendees to[email protected]by February 23. Security badges will be pre-printed for attendees to enter the auditorium.