NAPABA Congratulates Angel Kelley on her Nomination to serve on the District Court for the District of Massachusetts

For Immediate Release: 
Date: May 12, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, as part of the third slate of judicial nominees sent to the Senate, President Joe Biden nominated Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Angel Kelley to become a federal district court judge for the District of Massachusetts.  If confirmed, Judge Kelley would become only the second African American woman judge and second Asian American judge to serve on the Massachusetts district court, following Judge Indira Talwani who was confirmed in 2014. 

NAPABA applauds the Biden Administration for continuing to nominate experienced individuals  with diverse professional and personal backgrounds who reflect the diversity of the country. The daughter of a Japanese immigrant mother who found work as a meat packer, and an African American father originally from Selma, Alabama who was a truck driver, Judge Kelley began her legal career as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society working in the Juvenile Rights Division in Brooklyn, New York, served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, and began her judicial service on the Massachusetts state court in 2009.

Judge Kelley received her LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple University in 2003, her J.D. from Georgetown University in 1992, and her B.A. from Colgate University in 1989. 

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.

NAPABA | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20006 | www.napaba.org

AABANY Immigration Law Committee Presents “Immigration Changes Under the Biden Administration: A Look Back and Overview” on April 20

On April 20, Immigration Law Committee Co-Chairs Annie Wang, Poonam Gupta, and Zhixian (Jessie) Liu held a webinar titled “Immigration Changes Under the Biden Administration: A Look Back and Overview.” The co-chairs provided updates to the immigration policies under the Biden administration and compared it to the plans President Biden had outlined when he first took office.

In the webinar, the Immigration Law Committee provided updates to the status of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 and the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and discussed how passage of the bills could affect the pathway to citizenship. The co-chairs also covered employment-based immigration changes including the withdrawal of the H-4 EAD (Employment Authorization Document) rule, the repeal of the BAHA (Buy American and Hire American) Executive Order, and the changes to the H-1B Visa Program for fiscal year 2022. Co-Chair Annie Wang discussed the national dialogue surrounding asylum and refugee resettlement, and gave an update on the status of current DACA litigation. The co-chairs concluded the webinar by providing a quick overview of the rescission of the Public Charge Rule.

The Immigration Law Committee plans to continue hosting quarterly webinars to provide the AABANY community with immigration updates under the Biden administration. To learn more about the Immigration Law Committee’s upcoming events, please contact the committee co-chairs at https://www.aabany.org/page/129

NAPABA & APIAHF Launch Combat Hate Crimes Toolkit in 24 Languages

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been nearly 4,000 recorded hate incidents against the Asian American community, and this number continues to rise. Earlier this week, President Biden announced additional actions to respond to Anti-Asian Violence, Xenophobia and Bias. Attorney General Garland announced a 30-day review to assess the government’s tracking capabilities and prosecution of hate offenses that are surging across the country. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) are working with the Biden Administration to identify problems and to offer solutions in combating hate crimes.

NAPABA and APIAHF have collaborated to urgently develop a community Combat Hate Crimes Toolkit, which provides basic and critical information for victims, community-based organizations and community leaders. The toolkit, created under the National AA and NHPI Health Response Partnership, is translated into 24 different languages—the single largest collection of AANHPI translated materials ever and includes:

  • Understanding the difference between a hate crime and hate incident
  • Working with law enforcement and the media
  • Checklist for community organizations
  • Frequently asked questions

ACCESS NOW

Our organizations are committed to expanding this toolkit and increasing the availability of languages to provide critical information needed by our community. Combatting anti-Asian hate and violence is essential to enhancing the safety and security of our community, including seeking health care. If your community-based organization is interested in co-branding the toolkit with us, please contact Abram Garcia so we can help assist.

Seema Nanda Nominated Solicitor of Labor in the Department of Labor

For Immediate Release: Date: March 26, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden nominated Seema Nanda as Solicitor of Labor in the U.S. Department of Labor. If confirmed, Nanda will be the first AAPI and woman of color to lead the department as its chief legal officer.

“NAPABA congratulates Seema Nanda on her nomination to be Solicitor of Labor of the U.S. Department of Labor,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Seema is an experienced litigator who has extensive experience as a labor and employment attorney. She has been a critical leader in the Department of Labor and Department of Justice under the Obama-Biden administration, advocating for underserved and underrepresented communities like ours. We urge the Senate to quickly confirm Seema.”

Seema Nanda is currently a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program. She has served as CEO of the Democratic National Committee and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Nanda served in the Obama-Biden administration as Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff and Deputy Solicitor of Labor at the Department of Labor; Deputy Special Counsel and Senior Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division; and as a supervisory attorney on the National Labor Relations Board. She is a graduate of Brown University and Boston College Law School.

NAPABA has advocated for Seema Nanda and thanks the Biden-Harris administration for her nomination.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.

NAPABA Congratulates Katherine Tai on Confirmation as U.S. Trade Representative

For Immediate Release: Date: March 18, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) celebrates Katherine Tai’s confirmation to be U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in the Biden-Harris administration. Tai is the first Asian American woman and woman of color to lead the agency.

“We congratulate Katherine Tai on her historic confirmation today,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Ambassador Tai’s confirmation by a 98 to 0 vote to lead the Biden-Harris administration’s trade policy shows that she is the most qualified person for this position. We look forward to Ambassador Tai serving as a voice for our community in the Cabinet, especially in the wake of increased acts of hate against Asian Americans.”

Tai formerly served as Chief Trade Counsel and Staff Director of the Trade Subcommittee in the Ways & Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and clerked for Judge John D. Bates, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Tai is the first AAPI to be confirmed to serve in President Biden’s Cabinet. She was first nominated December 2020. NAPABA advocated for Ambassador Katherine Tai’s nomination. We thank President Biden and the Senate for nominating and confirming her.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession. 

Todd Kim Nominated Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources at the U.S. Department of Justice

For Immediate Release: Date: March 15, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden nominated Todd Kim as Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources at the U.S. Department of Justice. If confirmed, Kim will be the first AAPI to lead this division.

“NAPABA offers its sincerest congratulations to Todd Kim on his nomination to lead the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Todd is a talented and accomplished attorney who has extensive litigation experience of high-profile matters of national significance, including winning appeals with the U.S. Supreme Court and across appellate and state supreme courts. NAPABA applauds the Biden-Harris administration on their commitment to diversity with the nomination of Todd, and urges the Senate to confirm him as Assistant Attorney General.”

Todd Kim currently serves as the Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, Regulation, and Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Energy, and previously served as the first Solicitor General of the District of Columbia, and as an appellate attorney with the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Kim was a partner at Reed Smith and clerked for Judge Judith Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  He received his A.B. with honors from Harvard College and his J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.

NAPABA Congratulates Julie Su on Labor Deputy Secretary Nomination

For Immediate Release: Date: February 10, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – 
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates NAPABA Trailblazer, California Labor Secretary Julie Su, on her nomination to be Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Biden-Harris administration.

“California Labor Secretary Julie Su currently oversees the largest state labor department in the country and is an exceptionally well-qualified candidate to serve as Deputy Secretary of Labor,” said A. B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Julie is a nationally recognized expert on workers’ rights and civil rights and has spent a large portion of her career advocating for the immigrant community. 2020 has been a difficult year for most Americans, but even in the face of a pandemic and severe economic decline, as California Labor Secretary, Julie led the state through decisive actions and creative solutions to rescue California businesses. With a state economy of over $3.2 trillion that spans diverse industries, NAPABA is confident that her leadership will steer our country toward recovery and opportunity. Our strong support of her underscores the importance of having public servants who are representative of the American people: whether it’s race, gender or socioeconomic status.”

Prior to her role as California Labor Secretary, Su was California Labor Commissioner, Litigation Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles and has taught at UCLA Law School and Northeastern Law School. Su was a recipient of the 2019 American Bar Association Margaret Brent Award and a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius” Grant. She is a graduate from Harvard Law School and Stanford University.

NAPABA advocated for and strongly supported Julie Su’s nomination. We thank President Biden for nominating Julie Su to Deputy Secretary of Labor.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity in government and the judiciary on the local, state, and federal levels, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

NAPABA | Statement on Executive Orders

For Immediate Release: Date: January 21, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

Reversing the Muslim Ban, Restoring DACA, and Promoting Diversity

WASHINGTON—The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) supports the efforts by President Biden to repeal the Muslim Ban, to preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion—values important to NAPABA, as outlined in the Executive Orders he signed yesterday.

“We applaud President Biden’s initial executive orders that specifically address many of the key issues that NAPABA cares about and has been advocating on,” said A. B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “We are encouraged by the Administration’s steps today to promote religious tolerance by reversing the Muslim Ban, fortify the DACA program to better protect DREAMers, and commit to promoting racial equity for all Americans. We look forward to working with the new administration on policies that meaningfully support and advance our community.”

NAPABA and our affiliated bar associations opposed the Muslim Ban, including filing amicus briefs in the Supreme Court. NAPABA supports the DACA program and efforts to find a bipartisan solution for the status of the undocumented in the country.

NAPABA congratulates President Biden and Vice President Harris on their historic inauguration.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity in government and the judiciary on the local, state, and federal levels, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

NAPABA Calls on Biden Administration to Stay True to his Commitment to Create a Truly Representative Government

For Immediate Release: Date: January 8, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

Biden Administration Lacks AAPI Cabinet Secretary for The First Time in 20 Years

WASHINGTON—The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) calls upon President-elect Joe Biden to remain committed to his promise to assemble a diverse Cabinet and administration that truly reflects America as he continues to appoint senior leadership candidates. For the first time in 20 years, there will not be an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Cabinet Secretary despite the community having put forth one of the most extensive and impressive pool of candidates ever.

“NAPABA stands dismayed that AAPIs will not be represented at the Secretary level position in the inaugural Biden Cabinet,” said A. B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “While there have been many historic positive firsts for the incoming Administration, the AAPI community cannot help but feel dismissed. Countless individuals, including numerous members of Congress, community leaders across a broad spectrum, and many leading organizations, including many non-AAPIs, are calling for greater AAPI representation across leadership roles in the ongoing transition appointment process. We trust the new Administration will specifically address this apparent disconnect by nominating and placing AAPIs into key leadership roles going forward.”

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity in government and the judiciary on the local, state, and federal levels, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

NAPABA Congratulates Biden Nominees for the Department of Justice

For Immediate Release: Date: January 7, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

Vanita Gupta to become highest ranking AAPI in agency history

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Judge Merrick Garland, Lisa Monaco, Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke on their nominations to serve in the Department of Justice in the Biden-Harris administration.

“NAPABA heartily congratulates these four stellar individuals on their nominations to lead the Department of Justice. These nominees have a long history of public service, including at the Department of Justice,” said A. B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Notably, if confirmed, Vanita Gupta would become the highest ranking Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) to ever serve at DOJ and the first woman of color to serve as Associate Attorney General. We are both proud of and encouraged by the nomination of Vanita and strongly recommend the Biden-Harris administration to continue to draw upon the demonstrated value of AAPI attorneys by actively engaging them to serve in other key leadership roles.”

We thank President-elect Biden for nominating Ms. Gupta to the position and fervently urge him to nominate an AAPI for a Cabinet Secretary position.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity in government and the judiciary on the local, state, and federal levels, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.