NAPABA Statement on the Senate Confirmation of Vanita Gupta

For Immediate Release: Date: April 21, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Vanita Gupta on her historic bipartisan confirmation by the Senate, to serve as Associate Attorney General in the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the third highest ranking position at the Department. She now becomes the most senior Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) leader at DOJ ever, and the first woman of color to serve as Associate Attorney General.

“NAPABA is thrilled that the Senate has confirmed Vanita Gupta to lead the DOJ’s efforts in the critical areas of civil rights, the environment, justice-oriented grant making, community policing, community relations, violence against women, tax enforcement, antitrust, and ensuring the rights of service members and veterans, among other responsibilities” said A. B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Her tenure could not have come at a more pivotal time for so many populations of color and vulnerable people, especially as we face an onslaught of anti-Asian hate crimes and bias-motivated attacks against our communities.” 

NAPABA applauds President Biden for nominating Ms. Gupta to the position and the Senate for confirming her at this crucial time.

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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.

Statement On S. 937 COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

For Immediate Release: Date: April 22, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

Today, the United States Senate, in an overwhelmingly 94-1 bipartisan vote, passed S. 937, the “COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act” introduced by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI).  This legislation requires that the U.S. Department of Justice designate a point person whose sole responsibility is to facilitate the expedited review of hate crimes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the legislation recognizes a “COVID-19 hate crime” as an act of violence motivated by the actual or perceived relationship to the spread of COVID-19 of any person based on their race, ethnicity, age, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. The Senate-passed legislation also incorporates the Jabara-Heyer No Hate Act which increases resources for hate crimes reporting and assistance for victims of hate crimes.

“NAPABA congratulates the Senate for passing this important legislation, and Senator Hirono for her leadership on this issue,” said NAPABA President A.B. Cruz III. “This bill squarely addresses one of the root causes of the increase in hate crimes and bias-motivated incidents being committed against the Asian American community – the dangerous rhetoric and falsehood that somehow Asian Americans are responsible for the COVID-pandemic. NAPABA is committed to ensuring justice for hate crimes and hate-motivated incidents committed against the Asian American community, and looks forward to swift passage in the House and enactment into the law.”

NAPABA believes this bill will help state and local law enforcement to better investigate and record hate crimes and hate incidents and prosecute them where appropriate. The legislation also requires the Department of Justice to issue guidance on establishing online hate crimes and hate incident reporting in multiple languages, and to work with the Department of Health and Human Services to issue guidance on best practices to mitigate discriminatory language in describing the COVID-19 pandemic.  In response to the surge in attacks against Asian Americans in the wake of the pandemic, NAPABA in partnership with the APIA Health Forum have produced a hate crimes reporting toolkit – translated into 25 languages and English – the single largest collection of different AAPI-language materials assembled, that provides basic and critical information for victims, community based organizations, and community leaders. 

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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.

PRESS RELEASE: MENG AND HIRONO TO INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO COMBAT SURGE OF ANTI-ASIAN HATE CRIMES

This press release has been issued by the Offices of Congresswoman Grace Meng and Senator Mazie Hirono.

For Immediate Release: March 11, 2021

Contacts: 

  • MENG: Mark Olson, 202-819-5580
  • HIRONO: Martha Spieker, 202-365-7943

Legislation comes as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders experience wave of physical, verbal, and online attacks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06), First Vice Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Executive Board Member of CAPAC, announced their plan to reintroduce the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which seeks to address the ongoing hate and violence targeted toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) by providing greater assistance with law enforcement response to COVID-19 hate crimes and creating a position at the Department of Justice to facilitate expedited review of such cases.

Specifically, the bill would:

  1. Designate an officer or employee of the Justice Department to facilitate expedited review of COVID-19 hate crimes reported to federal, state, and/or local law enforcement;
  2.  Issue guidance for state and local law enforcement agencies to:
    1. establish online reporting of hate crimes or incidents, and to have online reporting available in multiple languages;
    2.   expand culturally competent and linguistically appropriate public education campaigns, and collection of data and public reporting of hate crimes; and
  3.  Issue guidance describing best practices to mitigate racially discriminatory language in describing the COVID–19 pandemic, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the COVID–19 Health Equity Task Force and community-based organizations.

“The ongoing anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents, especially against our elderly Asian Americans, is absolutely horrific. I am honored to introduce the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act with Senator Hirono to address this disgusting pattern of hate,” said Congresswoman Meng. “Before this pandemic started, I urged everyone—including elected officials—to not blame Asian Americans for the virus. My words were not heeded. The former president and his Congressional Republican enablers trafficked racist, bigoted terms to describe COVID-19. In doing so, their language stoked people’s fears and created an atmosphere of intolerance and violence, which persists even today. Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been nearly 3,000 reported incidents of physical, verbal, and online attacks against Asian Americans. Even in my own district in Queens, New York, Asian Americans have been attacked. To combat those acts, we need DOJ to prioritize addressing these heinous acts by designating a point person for these COVID-19 related hate crimes; make it easier for victims to report crimes committed against them; and expand public education campaigns to address COVID-19 hate crimes and incidents. This must end and it is why we are working to ensure our justice system has the people and resources to effectively account for and mitigate anti-Asian hate crimes. I look forward to this bill becoming law.”

“We’ve seen the horrifying consequences of racist language as AAPI communities across our country experience hate crimes and violence related to the pandemic,” said Senator Hirono. “The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act addresses the surge in violence against AAPI communities by dedicating an official at the Department of Justice to expeditiously review hate crimes reported to law enforcement. The bill also provides resources for communities to come together and fight intolerance and hate. This is no less than victims deserve.”

“We are grateful for Senator Hirono and Representative Meng’s leadership in responding to the increased attacks on Asian Americans during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “We need improvements in the reporting and handling of COVID-19-related hate crimes by law enforcement at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as making systems more accessible for people with limited proficiency in English. We appreciate the emphasis on linguistically appropriate and culturally competent engagement on data collection and reporting. Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC is committed to countering hate in all its forms, and we will to continue to push for a comprehensive approach to documenting and addressing hate crimes and prioritizing health and safety for all.”

“NAPABA applauds Senator Hirono and Congresswoman Meng for their decisive action to introduce legislation responding to the rise in anti-Asian hate incidents during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said. A.B. Cruz, III, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “NAPABA is committed to ensuring that hate crimes against the Asian American community are properly investigated and prosecuted. The expedited review of hate crimes reported to federal, state, and local law enforcement by the Department of Justice will increase accountability in addressing hate against our community, and establishing a platform for online reporting of hate crimes and incidents in multiple languages will allow more victims to come forward.”

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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.

Global Investigations Review Article on “Why anti-bribery enforcement scrutiny in China is here to stay” Co-Authored by Jian Wu

On May 21, 2020, Global Investigations Review published an article co-authored by AABANY Asia Practice Committee Co-Chair Jian Wu. The article is titled “Why Anti-bribery Enforcement Scrutiny in China Is Here to Stay.”

The article discusses how the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are increasingly enforcing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) against US public companies with operations in China. Following the DOJ’s announcement of the new “China Initiative” in November of 2018, priority has been given to identifying FCPA cases involving Chinese companies that compete with American business. Recently, it was reported that a US-listed health nutrition company was nearing a $123 million settlement with the DOJ and SEC related to an anti-corruption compliance investigation in China. The article highlights that such FCPA investigations and cases are likely to increase in the US. However, it still remains to be seen if China will follow up enforcement measures with a parallel focus.

The article notes that because “…the China Initiative puts Chinese companies and individuals in the spotlight, multinational corporations should carefully deal with their ongoing business relationships involving Chinese companies. At the same time, multinational corporations should not take enforcement by the Chinese authorities lightly. Chinese authorities are increasingly exercising closer supervision over bribery activities involving multinational corporations.”

With recent and ongoing policy changes and rising tensions between the US and China with the COVID-19 pandemic, multinational corporations need to focus on corporate compliance in 2020, remain informed about any new FCPA related developments, and get ahead of any challenges that may arise ahead of time.

To read the full article, click here.

In The News: Law 360 Article “Responding To DOJ’s Increasing Int’l Antitrust Extraditions” Co-Authored by Brian Song

On April 1, 2020, Law 360 published an article co-authored by Immediate Past President Brian Song. The article is entitled “Responding To DOJ’s Increasing Int’l Antitrust Extraditions.”

The article discusses how the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice is increasingly using extradition to prosecute individuals alleged to have violated U.S. law. It discusses various recent cases where extradition has successfully been exercised, mainly from Italy and Germany, by the Department of Justice solely based on an antitrust charge.

The article notes that foreign nationals facing prosecution by the Antitrust Division have few choices of recourse. They include pleading guilty in exchange for the possibility for lower sentences, hunkering down in their home country and not traveling abroad, and seeking to have the charges dismissed on constitutional or statute of limitation grounds from abroad.

However, since the options available to foreign defendants are limited, and given the success of recent extraditions, foreign defendants should consider their options very carefully.

To read the full article, click on the following links:

https://www.bakerlaw.com/webfiles/Litigation/2020/Alerts/Obrien-Law360s.pdf

Attorney General’s Honors Program Application

Since 1953, the Attorney General’s Honors Program has been recognized as the nation’s premier entry-level federal attorney recruitment program.  The Honors Program attracts candidates from hundreds of law schools across the country representing a broad cross-section of experiences and interests.  Selections are made based on many elements of a candidate’s background, including a demonstrated commitment to government service, academic achievement, leadership, journal, moot court and mock trial experience, clinical experience, past employment, and extracurricular activities that relate to the work of Justice and the relevant component.  The Department of Justice seeks high caliber attorneys to advance its mission and welcomes applications from candidates whose backgrounds reflect the Nation’s rich diversity

Key Dates

  • July 31: Application opens
  • Early September: Application deadline
  • Late September:  Interview candidates selected
  • Mid-October – early November:  Main Honors Program interview period
  • Late November – February:  Offers Extended

For more information, please check the link: https://www.justice.gov/legal-careers/entry-level-attorneys

Department of Justice’s Summer Law Intern Program Application

The Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP) is the Department of Justice’s competitive recruitment program for compensated summer internships.  Law students who participate in the SLIP benefit from an exceptional legal experience and invaluable exposure to the Department of Justice.  Interns represent diverse backgrounds and  interests, and come from a wide range of law schools throughout the country.

SLIP Deadlines & Key Dates

  • July 31 – Application Opens
  • Early September:  Application Deadline
  • Early October: Interview Candidates Selected
  • Mid. Oct – early November: Telephone Interviews
  • Late Nov. – January/ February:  Offers Extended

For more information, please check the link: https://www.justice.gov/legal-careers/summer-law-intern-program

Press Release: Coalition Calls on Inspector General to Investigate Possible Profiling of Asian American Scientists

WASHINGTON — The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates (OCA) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice were joined by 77 Asian Pacific American, civil rights and civil liberties organizations in sending a letter today to the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz seeking an independent investigation into what appears to be a trend of Asian American scientists being arrested and indicted for espionage-related crimes, only to later have all charges dropped, without explanation.

60 Minutes recently highlighted the cases of Temple University Physics Department Chair Dr. Xiaoxing Xi and National Weather Service Hydrologist Sherry Chen, bringing these cases renewed national attention.

Last November, NCAPA and NAPABA led a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging her to lead a Department of Justice investigation. Forty-two members of Congress also requested a full investigation, followed by aCongressional Asian Pacific American Caucus letter to Inspector General Horowitz last month.

In April 2016, the Department of Justice issued new rules to provide greater oversight, consultation, and coordination for all national security related cases. While these are welcome improvements, they leave unanswered critical questions about what happened in the cases of Dr. Xi and Ms. Chen and whether profiling played any role.

“Members of Congress as well as the civil rights and legal communities continue to be concerned that individuals appear to have been targeted for investigations based on their perceived race, ethnicity, or national origin,” said NAPABA President Jin Y. Hwang. “As we have seen in the cases of Dr. Xiaoxing Xi and Ms. Sherry Chen, these investigations upend lives and have lasting impacts even after charges are dropped. We continue to urge the Department of Justice to conduct thorough and independent investigations to assure the American public that the protections afforded by the Constitution and enshrined in Department policy prohibiting profiling are being followed in the interest of preserving a fair and unbiased legal system.”

“OCA is concerned with the apparent practice of racial profiling in national espionage cases. Both Sherry Chen and Professor Xi’s cases highlight the very human costs of charges brought to court with insufficient evidence,” said OCA Chief Executive Officer Ken Lee. “The treatment that both of them endured must never happen again. That is why we, along with our partners at NCAPA, NAPABA, and the Asian Americans Advancing Justice network, sent a letter to the Inspector General’s office. We remain committed to ensuring that there is an independent investigation of the Department of Justice by the Inspector General’s office to determine whether or not race, ethnicity, and national origin is a determining factor in all national espionage cases, particularly in the cases against Asian Americans. To allow our nation’s headquarters for legal justice to use such underhanded tactics to persecute individuals would be a mockery of the advances our country has made in civil rights and equal and equitable treatment for all Americans.”

“Dr. Xi and Ms. Chen have already suffered enough professionally and psychologically. They deserve answers–and so do the American people,” said NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang. “We are deeply concerned by even the appearance of anyone being targeted because of their race, ethnicity or national origin, and we must prevent any practice of profiling from happening again. The Department of Justice must preserve our fundamental values of fairness and due process and protect our civil rights and civil liberties.”

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.