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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Immediate Release
June 12, 2017
WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s per curiam ruling
maintaining a lower court’s block on President Trump’s March 6, 2017,
revised executive order barring individuals from six Muslim-majority
countries and refugees from entering the United States.
March 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick K. Watson of the District
of Hawaii issued a preliminary injunction on the travel restrictions in
this lawsuit, State of Hawaii v. Trump, which was brought by the state and individuals impacted by the executive order.
unanimous Ninth Circuit opinion affirmed the plaintiffs’ right to
challenge the executive order and upheld their statutory claims under
the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The court agreed with the
plaintiffs’ assertion that the President’s broad authority on the entry
of foreign individuals has constraints, and that the executive order
exceeds the scope of the authority delegated to the President by
Congress under the INA, including the statute’s prohibition against
On April 21, NAPABA filed an amicus brief
in support of the plaintiffs, supported by 43 NAPABA affiliates, after
joining this first challenge to the revised executive order with an
amicus brief filed in the district court. NAPABA’s briefs describe the
history of the statutory exclusion of Asians and Pacific Islanders under
early U.S. immigration law — including the first federal law to ban a
group of people from entering the country on the basis of race — prior
to the passage of the INA of 1965, which outlawed nationality-based
discrimination. NAPABA argued that President Trump’s revised order, with
its anti-Muslim underpinnings, violates this unambiguous prohibition on
discrimination established by Congress.
awaits the decision on the government’s petitions to the Supreme Court
in both this case and the parallel case from the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Fourth Circuit, International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, and will continue to work to ensure the executive order is permanently struck down by the courts.
Read NAPABA’s amicus briefs in the Fourth and Ninth Circuits and before the district court here.
Read the March 6, 2017, statement of NAPABA and the South Asian Bar Association – North America, joined by 14 affiliates, against the revised executive order.
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 approximately 75 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.
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.