Thank You to Our Dec. 3 Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

On December 3, 2022, AABANY’s Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee partnered with the VNS Health staff to hold a pro bono clinic in VNS Health’s Manhattan community center from 12:00 PM to 3:30 PM.

Overall, we met with 11 clients who had questions about topics such as immigration, housing, and divorce. With help from our many clinic attorneys and volunteers, AABANY’s PBCS attorneys were able to connect clients with AABANY’s Legal Referral and Information Service, a program that connects prospective clients from the Asian American and Pacific Islander community with qualified lawyers who are both linguistically and culturally competent.

AABANY’s PBCS intern Connor Li spoke about his experiences at Saturday’s clinic with great reverence for the work PBCS is able to do through these clinics. He said, “It’s always a pleasure to help out at the clinic. Whether it’s meeting members of the community or listening to experienced legal professionals, I always feel like I’m learning something at every point. And with the help of the amazing VNS staff, clients with urgent needs for legal advice regarding housing, immigration, and familial issues were checked in and assigned to attorneys with great expediency. We were even able to provide Cantonese and Mandarin interpreters at nearly every client meeting, though we could definitely have used the assistance of more Cantonese interpreters. I would definitely encourage more AABANY members or willing individuals from the general public who know Cantonese to come to these clinics. Your help would be appreciated!”

As with every clinic, free lunch was provided for all attorney and non-attorney volunteers by PBCS. We thank all 11 of our volunteers for coming to provide their invaluable assistance! As always, if you have any questions about upcoming clinics, please contact us at probono@aabany.org. Thanks again for attending, and happy holidays!

Volunteer AttorneysInterpreters & Observers
Beatrice LeongAlexander Hwang
Francis ChinConnor Li
Grace PyunXiaoli Qin
Jackson ChinYuichi Hayashi
Jayashree MitraYuting Xie
May Wong 

Please make plans to join us as a volunteer at the next Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic on January 14, or please help us spread the word. More details here.

Thank You to our Nov. 19 Queens Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

On November 19, AABANY’s Pro Bono & Community Services Committee and Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) joined forces to hold a pro bono legal clinic at AAFE’s One Flushing Community Center in Queens. 

We met with 25 clients who had questions about family, housing, immigration law. Since early August, Spanish-speaking asylum seekers have been sent by state governments in Texas and Florida to New York, precipitating a migrant. Unfortunately, many not-for-profit organizations in the city remain overwhelmed by this crisis, due to limited resources available from federal and state governments. AABANY and AAFE received numerous requests for assistance from New York City’s vast community of immigrants at Saturday’s clinic. 

This Saturday’s clinic used a multitude of digital and analog resources to provide top-notch services. We creatively used a hybrid Zoom call setup to bring in immigration attorneys (Jackson Chin and Judy Lee) and maintain a non-stop stream of consultations. One group of attorneys helped a client find actionable steps forward from his complex legal status, providing him with additional resources and referrals. AAFE generously made its printer and xerox machines available, which were critical in handling the larger-than-usual volume of Spanish-speaking clients we saw on Saturday. We were able to print out Spanish-language brochures about asylum, immigration eligibility for public benefits in New York State, and pro bono referrals.  

AABANY Legal Intern Daniel Kang reflected on the work he witnessed at the Clinic: “Every attorney who volunteered their time on Saturday was deeply and professionally invested in the problems facing clients. I had the opportunity to shadow and complete intake forms for consultations held by Jackson Chin and Judy Lee. It was incredible seeing Jackson and Judy drill to the legal substance of each client’s case by asking the right questions and bringing their own legal expertise to the fore. I was also heartened by the presence of Spanish-speaking volunteer interpreters who successfully broke through the language barrier between volunteer attorneys and locally based clients.” 

Not many of the attorneys who attended Saturday’s clinic practice immigration law or speak Spanish. Immigration law is a complicated practice area which changes with each Presidential administration. A 30-minute legal consultation may not help those in dire need of immigration legal services, but clinics like AABANY’s may be a client’s best hope. Immigrant clients come to AABANY consultations in their attempts at acquiring information about the legal process, updates in immigration policy, how to survive in New York, and legal referrals. As usual, AABANY welcomes any and all practicing attorneys across the city to sign up for future clinics—as well as non-attorney volunteers who can speak Spanish or Chinese. Free lunch is provided to all volunteers at our clinics. 

AABANY thanks everyone again for coming to volunteer at Saturday’s clinic! Please join us at our upcoming clinics:

Saturday, December 3 – please register by 12pm, 11/30 

Manhattan Location – VNS Health, Community Center, 7 Mott Street, New York, NY 10002

Saturday, December 10 – please register by 12pm, 12/7 

Brooklyn Location – United Chinese Association of Brooklyn (UCA), 1787 Stillwell Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11223

AttorneysInterpreters & ObserversAAFE Staff
Beatrice LeongDaniel KangDaphne Mei 
Eugene KimJeremy Chih Cheng ChangGabriel Hisugan
Jackson ChinSiobhan FengConstance Lee
Johnny ThachSue YuElton Ye
Judy (Ming Chu) LeeVincce ChanCarmen Cruz
May LiWillow LiuMaria Bergeron
May WongYuichi Hayashi 
Richard InYuwen Long 
Rina Gurung  
Shawn Lin  
Shengyang (John) Wu  
Shirley Luong  

AABANY Member Tsui Yee Launches YouTube Channel to Share Immigration Law Tips

AABANY member Tsui Yee, former co-founder and Co-Chair of AABANY’s Immigration Law Committee, has launched a YouTube Channel all about immigration law. Tsui is an immigration lawyer who represents clients in family and employment-based petitions and applications, removal (deportation) defense, asylum, and other immigration matters. 

In the first video, Tsui mentions three important things to keep in mind for green card applicants. As Tsui states in the video: 

Here are the basic questions to ask yourself to ensure your application does not end up in the “USCIS limbo” 

Do I qualify for a green card? Try to seek legal advice on whether you qualify and then find someone who you know will correctly file your application. 

Have you filled out your forms correctly? You can still get denied even if you qualify for a green card but incorrectly fill out the forms. 

Does your sponsor have the means of supporting your green card application? Whether the sponsor is family-based or employer-based, your sponsor needs to meet the financial standards to support the application. 

To subscribe to Tsui Yee’s channel, click here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgZMGHXWZH5Pj4MdwXbFCbg

Please join AABANY in congratulating Tsui on this new endeavor!

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

AABANY Hosts Weekly Membership Mixer on June 26

On June 26, 2020, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly Zoom Membership Mixer, with 16 participants in attendance.  The icebreaker question posed to the participants was: “What is your family’s immigration story?”  Members told their stories of how and why they or their families arrived in the United States or Canada. Some families came for school, marriages, and better opportunities. Some members made the trip to North America as an adult for a different life. 

The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars and various other venues, such as ballparks and the Metropolitan Opera, but due to COVID, we have moved online to offer members a weekly outlet to share their feelings, see old friends, and make new connections. Mixers start at 6:30pm on Friday and the main event ends at 7:30pm but feel free to stay on after 7:30pm for smaller breakout groups.

Membership Committee will continue to host weekly Zoom mixers until it is safe to gather together again in person. 

This week, after the main mixer, a breakout group of 6  members discussed the next steps of re-opening phases in New York City.

Watch out for the AABANY Talent Show coming on July 17! If you have a talent, such as singing, dancing, musical instruments, telling jokes, karate, etc., please email us at membership@aabany.org. See the flyer or go to https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1393375 to register.

We have been giving away door prizes at prior mixers. In order to win, you must be a member and must RSVP on the aabany.org calendar entry to get a raffle number. Non-members can join the Zoom mixer but won’t be eligible to win a prize. 
Mixers are not recorded, and are LIVE, so don’t miss out.

In The News: AABANY Member Tsui Yee Quoted in NPR Story on Immigration

AABANY Member and immigration attorney Tsui Yee was recently quoted in an NPR story by Alina Selyukh entitled “Will Filing For Unemployment Hurt My Green Card? Legal Immigrants Are Afraid.”

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread and leave millions of people jobless, legal immigrants working and paying taxes in the US fear that applying for unemployment might jeopardize their immigration cases. Tsui noted that even though these individuals are eligible to collect unemployment, many chose not to out of fear that doing so will somehow trigger a red flag with immigration services.

To read the full story, click here.

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.

In the Wake of Zero Tolerance–Best Practices for Representing Separated Parents and Children Webinar

In the Wake of Zero Tolerance–Best Practices for Representing Separated Parents and Children Webinar

NAPABA Condemns the Separation of Children and Parents at the U.S. Border – National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

NAPABA Condemns the Separation of Children and Parents at the U.S. Border – National Asian Pacific American Bar Association