NAPABA Applauds Nomination of Senator Kamala Harris

For Immediate Release:
Date: August 19, 2020

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) recognizes the historic significance of Sen. Kamala Harris’ nomination as vice president on the Democratic ticket. Harris is the first woman of color to be nominated on a presidential ticket for a major party. If elected, she would become the highest ranking Asian Pacific American ever in line for presidential succession.

“Sen. Harris has defined herself as a leader and legislator in the U.S. Senate,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, president of NAPABA. “Her nomination is not only historic, but deeply meaningful to the Asian Pacific American community. Sen. Harris is the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, and she understands the priorities and concerns of Asian Pacific American and Black communities, which have been underrepresented at all levels of government. Since her tenure in the Senate, Sen. Harris has shown a strong commitment to diversity—including having one of the most diverse staff in the Senate and elevating people of color to leadership positions.”

“As a non-partisan organization, NAPABA works with presidential administrations and members of Congress from both parties to advance the interests of the Asian Pacific American community. NAPABA applauds Sen. Harris’ nomination and looks forward to greater representation and diversity of political candidates, executive branch appointees, and judges.”

NAPABA Applauds Supreme Court Ruling on Protecting DREAMers

For Immediate Release: 
Date: June 18, 2020

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director
Email: ppurandare@napaba.org

Today, in a 5-4 landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s decision in 2017 to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) violated federal law in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. The DACA program, whose beneficiaries are also known as DREAMers, protects eligible undocumented youth from deportation and provides them with work permits. Approximately 650,000 individuals, including more than 16,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), benefit from this program and about 120,000 AAPIs are eligible for DACA. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the Court for its decision, which will protect these individuals, many of whom are the sole providers in their families.

“The Court’s decision ensures the protection of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. These DREAMers now know they are currently safe from being suddenly deported from the country in which they grew up, went to school, and now work,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, President of NAPABA. “There has been strong bipartisan support in Congress to protect DREAMers, who significantly contribute to their communities in the United States. The Court’s decision is not a permanent fix and Congress needs to act. NAPABA remains committed to protecting DREAMers.”

NAPABA’s policy resolution to support the continuation of DACA recipients can be found here and the original resolution to support DACA recipients can be found here. The Supreme Court decision can be found here

AABANY Comments on Public Charge Rule

On December 7, 2018, AABANY submitted comments to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services in opposition to the rulemaking on Proposed Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds. AABANY wrote:

The Asian American Bar Association of New York believes that this rule change will cause irreparable harm to our community. Many of AABANY’s members are immigrants, or children of immigrants, and are personally impacted by this rule. The Proposed Rule changes the rules of the system in midstream and are directly intended to prevent immigrants from becoming American citizens.

To read the full text of the comments, click here.

AABANY thanks the Community Response Task Force of the Issues Committee for leading this effort on behalf of AABANY.

NAPABA Opposes Plan to Redefine “Public Charge” and Limit Legal Immigration

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) opposes the proposed changes to “public charge” published Wednesday by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We urge our members and affiliated bar associations to join NAPABA in submitting public comments opposing the proposed policy.

Public charge policy has roots in long-time efforts to limit the admission of ‘undesirable immigrants,’ such as Chinese in the 19th century. The proposed rule would re-define a public charge as an immigrant who would be likely to receive government benefits from an expanded list of programs, including nutrition and housing assistance programs for children. The proposed rule will make it easier to designate an applicant as a public charge, and deny their admission to the United States or reject their permanent resident application. DHS also proposes stricter guidance for weighing certain factors when reviewing visa applications, such as age, income, health, English proficiency, and employability. NAPABA is greatly concerned with how these changes will negatively impact Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants, working families, and children’s health.

The proposal has already had a chilling effect on Asian Pacific American communities. Due to reports of these proposed changes, some immigrant families—including those with eligible U.S. citizen members—have unenrolled from important public services for which they qualify. If implemented, the new public charge rules would undermine the safety, health, and security of immigrant families by denying them the support historically provided to new Americans. Asian Pacific American communities will be particularly hard hit, as over 31% of new green card recipients are from Asian and Pacific Island nations and as there is significant variation in average income amongst Asian ethnic groups.

Take charge by submitting a comment on the proposed rule before the DHS proceeds with its final rulemaking by the deadline, December 10, 2018. NAPABA will be submitting comments as an organization, but individuals are encouraged to submit unique comments here. To see available resources, please click here. For more information, contact Oriene Shin, NAPABA Policy Counsel, at 202-775-9555 or oshin@napaba.org.

LEAD – a Professional development program for young women immigrants – INFORMATION SESSION

LEAD – a Professional development program for young women immigrants – INFORMATION SESSION

Chinatown’s Ghost Scam

Chinatown’s Ghost Scam

NAPABA Opposes the RAISE Act

For Immediate Release

Aug. 4, 2017

                                                  For More Information, Contact:
                                                  Brett Schuster, Communications  Manager
                                                  bschuster@napaba.org, 202-775-9555

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) opposes the RAISE Act (S. 1720), introduced by Senators Cotton (Ark.) and Purdue (Ga.). The bill would cut all legal immigration into the United States by half, impacting businesses and preventing the reunification of families.  Notably, the RAISE Act, (1) curtails family-based visa programs, (2) makes a reduction in refugee admissions permanent, (3) slashes the number of green cards available, and (4) replaces employment visa categories with a point-based merit system that gives priority to individuals based on criteria including age, English proficiency, education, and economic factors.

“Commonsense immigration reform is necessary, but the RAISE Act keeps families apart, and undermines American businesses and their workforce needs,” said NAPABA President Cyndie M. Chang. “This bill reduces legal immigration, turns our backs on refugees, and rejects our core value of keeping families together. Nearly two-thirds of the Asian Pacific American community immigrated to the United States and we have long been targets of discriminatory immigration legislation. We stand against this bill.”

Nearly two-thirds of the Asian Pacific American community is foreign-born and 92 percent of Asian Pacific Americans are immigrants or have immigrant parents. Asian Pacific American families are diverse, having come to the U.S. to join their families to seek opportunity, or as refugees following humanitarian crises. The majority of these families came to the U.S. under employment-based visas and family-based visa programs that would be cut under this legislation. Further, these reductions would increase delays in the already long visa-backlog that continues to keep families apart.

The RAISE Act fails to address the real problems that plague the immigration system. NAPABA recognizes the invaluable contribution of immigrants to our country and urges Congress to reject this bill.

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

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, 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.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, D.C. 20006 | www.napaba.org