NCAPA Community Briefing on COVID-19

On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), a coalition of 34 national Asian Pacific American organizations, held a community briefing call over Zoom on the topic of increased anti-Asian rhetoric in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Community leaders on the call were joined by legislators serving on the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) including Representative Judy Chu (CA-27), Representative Mark Takano (CA-41), Representative Ted Lieu (CA-33), and Senator Kamala Harris of California. 

Mr. Gregg Orton, the National Director of NCAPA, began by addressing efforts undertaken by NCAPA to address the increasing prevalence of anti-Asian rhetoric. Mr. Orton addressed NCAPA’s creation of a COVID-19 Task Force which aims to aggregate community resources online for the Asian American community in addition to building an emergency response network. NCAPA is also currently developing an online health form with crowdsourced in-language community health resources. 

Legislators serving on CAPAC spoke at-length about the alarming rise of xenophobic attacks and racist sentiment directed against members of the Asian American community. All four legislators condemned the rhetoric of top administration officials such as President Donald Trump and Secretary Mike Pompeo in labeling COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” or the “Wuhan Virus” as the use of these terms only exacerbate concerns of discrimination. In fact, Representative Chu, the Chair of CAPAC, addressed recent high profile incidents of physical attacks directed against Asians and estimated roughly 1,000 reports of hate crimes in the last five weeks alone. 

Moreover, all four legislators pointed to the efforts that were being undertaken in Congress to stand in solidarity with the Asian American community such as Representative Grace Meng’s (NY-6) recent resolution “Condemning all forms of Anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID-19” which has already garnered 130 co-sponsors. Senator Harris underscored the importance of cancelling ICE raids and following in Los Angeles and New York’s footsteps in setting up hotlines for reporting on hate crimes directed against Asian Americans. Representative Lieu addressed the problem of phone scams taking advantage of the elderly during this time and pointed to the FCC’s online guidelines for preventing these scams. 

Additionally, Representatives Chu and Takano spoke extensively about the recent stimulus package that was passed and certain benefits that Asian business owners could make use of. In particular, they highlighted Small Business Administration (SBA) loans for companies with less than 500 employees in addition to direct cash assistance provisions sent to qualifying families. However, Representative Lieu noted that the recently passed stimulus package will likely not be enough and that a second bill is in the works. In that bill, Representative Chu hopes to focus on translating federal COVID-19 resources into AAPI languages and assisting both undocumented and legal immigrants who were not eligible for certain benefits in the initial stimulus package. 

Finally, community leaders in the NCAPA network also addressed efforts that they have undertaken in light of COVID-19. Ms. Naomi Tacuyan Underwood, Executive Director of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), elaborated on how AAJA has issued guidelines to major newsrooms across the country on responsible reporting regarding the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, Ms. Chiling Tong, President of the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship addressed the financial risks faced by its 2 million members. She encouraged Asian American members and businesses to apply for the FCA economic injury fund online. 

Overall, multiple steps are being taken at the legislative, business, and grassroots level in order to combat xenophobia and support the Asian American community in this time of need. In order to see a full recording of the call, please click here. For additional ways you can help and get involved, please look below.


The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), founded in 1996, is a coalition of 34 national Asian Pacific American organizations around the country. Based in Washington D.C., NCAPA serves to represent the interests of the greater Asian American (AA) and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for AA and NHPI issues. You can get in-touch with NCAPA by clicking here here.

For additional resources, please refer to NCAPA’s COVID-19 Response Toolkit, which includes sample social media graphics and posts, press coverage, and resources within and outside of our coalition. The resources include in-language resources for wellness and health, and various hate crime reporting tools. You can make a direct impact in your own respective circles and communities by regularly distributing and sharing NCAPA’s Toolkit.

AABANY Signs onto NCAPA Letters to Congressional Leadership Urging Them to Denounce Racism and Xenophobia Arising from COVID-19

On March 11, 2020, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) sent two letters to House and Senate leadership, urging them to call for unity and publicly denounce the increase in racist attacks and discrimination against the Asian American community, in the wake of rising concerns over the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

AABANY is proud to be among the signatories for these letters. While we recognize the growing public health and economic threat the virus poses, we believe our leadership needs to be grounded in truth and committed to taking on racism and xenophobia directly.

The letter to House leadership can be viewed here: https://www.aabany.org/resource/resmgr/pdfs/2020/NCAPA_Letter_to_House_Leader.pdf

The letter to Senate leadership can be viewed here: https://www.aabany.org/resource/resmgr/pdfs/2020/NCAPA_Letter_to_Senate_Leade.pdf

NCAPA Welcomes Department of Justice Rules that Could Address and Prevent Profiling of Asian American Scientists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 27, 2016

Contact: Mary Tablante;
(202) 706-6768;
mary@ncapaonline.org

The U.S. Department of Justice issued new rules to provide greater oversight, consultation, and coordination for all national security related cases.

Although the Department of Justice did not directly tie these changes to any particular case, they appear to be in response to recent high profile cases in which Asian Americans were suspected of economic espionage but were wrongfully indicted and arrested without the full support of the facts.

“We welcome the Department of Justice’s new rules to provide greater oversight in national security cases,” said NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang. “When espionage-related charges are brought against Asian American scientists and dropped without explanation, it gives at least the appearance of profiling based on race, ethnicity, or national origin. Changes were clearly necessary, and while we hope that the additional coordination and oversight will prevent future incidents from occurring, these new policies are too late to repair the damage to the lives, reputations, and careers of Dr. Xiaoxing Xi and Sherry Chen. Both deserve a public apology, and Ms. Chen deserves to keep her job.”

Science has reported that charges have been dropped against five Chinese-born scientists accused of crimes related to trade secrets theft or economic spying. U.S. citizens Dr. Xiaoxing Xi, chair of Temple University’s physics department, and Sherry Chen, a hydrologist at the National Weather Service, were each accused of sharing secret information with China. All charges against both were dropped, but left lasting damage to their careers and reputations.

In response, last November, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), along with more than 70 Asian American and Pacific Islander, civil rights, and civil liberties organizations, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling for an independent investigation into these cases.


Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.

70+ Asian Pacific American, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Organizations Urge U.S. Attorney General to Investigate Possible Profiling of Asian American Scientists

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For Immediate Release
Nov. 16, 2015

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

70+ Asian Pacific American, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Organizations Urge U.S. Attorney General to Investigate Possible Profiling of Asian American Scientists

“We firmly believe that otherwise innocent actions by Americans must not become suspicious simply because of the person’s ethnic surname or perceived national origin.”

WASHINGTON — The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) are joined by 70 organizations in sending a letter today to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch seeking an independent investigation into what appears to be a trend of Asian American scientists being suspected of economic espionage, indicted and arrested, without the full support of the facts.

Science magazine has reported that in the past year alone, charges have been dropped against five Chinese-born scientists accused of crimes related to trade secrets theft or economic spying. The most recent cases of potential profiling involve U.S. citizens Dr. Xiaoxing Xi, chair of Temple University’s physics department, and Sherry Chen, a hydrologist and employee of the National Weather Service. All charges against both were dropped — but not before wreaking irreparable damage to their lives, careers, and reputations.

“We are deeply concerned at the prospect of anyone being targeted for their race, ethnicity, or national origin,” said NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang. “Two is a coincidence, and three is a trend. It is time for a full and independent investigation into the cases of Dr. Xi and Ms. Chen, so there is not even an appearance of profiling in cases moving forward.”

“We thank the more than 70 organizations in our growing coalition — from 16 NCAPA organizations and the NAACP to the ACLU and People For the American Way,” Kang continued. “This is not a Chinese American issue or an Asian American issue. It is an American issue — to preserve our fundamental values of fairness and due process and to protect our civil rights and civil liberties.”

“Americans across the country are very concerned that individuals appear to be targeted for investigations based on their perceived race, ethnicity, or national origin,” said NAPABA President Jin Y. Hwang. “Attorney General Lynch must lead a thorough and independent investigation to assure the American public that the protections afforded by the Constitution and enshrined in Department policy prohibiting profiling are being followed. The broad and diverse coalition of more than 70 civil rights and legal organizations calling for this investigation highlights the importance of a fair and unbiased legal system to our country.”

Dr. Xiaoxing Xi and Sherry Chen will join a Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) press conference Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 9:30 a.m. EST in the Capitol (H-137) with Representatives Judy Chu (CA-27) and Ted Lieu (CA-33).

Earlier this month in a letter led by Representatives Ted Lieu, Judy Chu and Keith Ellison, 42 members of Congress called upon Attorney General Lynch to lead the Department of Justice in an independent investigation.

Learn more in NCAPA’s one-pager on this issue.

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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 approximately 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.

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).

NCAPA Responds to Pew Research Center Study on Asians Americans

NCAPA Responds to Pew Research Center Study on Asians Americans