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.
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.
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.
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 [email protected].
This Friday, July 13th, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM, the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice will be holding a webinar for attorneys who would like to learn more and help separated parents and children.
The ABA Commission on Immigration, ProBAR, CRSJ and Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) present this webinar for attorneys who wish to learn more about representing families separated by the Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. Our experts will discuss how separated families have been processed at the border, forcibly separated, prosecuted and detained, causing grave suffering to parents and children and obstacles to their legal claims. Our experts will discuss each step in the process and explain the complicated legal proceedings that apply to parents caught at the border and children who have been rendered “unaccompanied” by government action. Lawyers across the country have expressed interest in helping these families. Many of these families remain divided today despite the President’s Executive Order that allegedly ended the practice but failed to include a procedure for reuniting families unless they agree to waive all claims and accept removal. This is not due process. Join us to learn more about how to effectively represent these families and permit those who fear persecution to apply for asylum as required by law.
Thank you to Sylvia Chin for sharing it with us.
For any questions, please email Civil Rights and Social Justice Section Associate Director Paula Shapiro at [email protected]
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) strongly condemns the Trump Administration’s cruel “zero tolerance” enforcement policy of referring all non-port-of-entry-border crossers for criminal prosecution.
Please visit the link in the title to read NAPABA’s full statement.