AABANY Hosts Panel Addressing Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising From COVID-19 (Korean)

On Sunday, May 17, 2020, the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) hosted the Korean version of its webinar series, “Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The presentation addressed the increase in violent incidents against Asians in the community and included a discussion of the rights that victims and bystanders have when a racially motivated confrontation occurs, as well as what actions rise to the level of a prosecutable offense.

The webinar featured moderator, Sean Dong Min Rhee, a Northeastern University law student, as well as two panelists: Kings County Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Pak and Naomi Jeehee Yang, an Associate at Paul Weiss.

During the presentation, Stephanie Pak explained what actions would constitute a hate crime (P.L. §240.30) and aggravated assault (P.L. §485.05) as set forth in New York Penal Law. She also gave examples of actions that would rise to a criminal level so that community members would be able to recognize incidents which they should report to law enforcement agencies or their local District Attorney’s office. Furthermore, Stephanie emphasized that when Korean victims are called Chinese during an assault, this does not invalidate the action from being prosecuted as a hate crime but rather makes the issue ripe for prosecution.

The other panelist, Naomi Jeehee Yang, shared information on who to contact during or after these incidents, as well as a few helpful tips that can help prosecutors and law enforcement. She stressed the importance of recording an incident because the evidence is often a key component in successfully prosecuting assailants. If this is not an option, it is important to call 911, as phone calls to police are recorded and can also be used as evidence during a criminal trial. Most importantly, Naomi spoke on the significance of reporting these anti-Asian episodes. If incidents are reported there will consequently be a more accurate number of cases in which Asians are being victimized in the community. This, in turn, increases the visibility of this issue and will spur action by government officials and policymakers – bringing about legislation or resources that can be helpful to the Asian community.

Thank you to our panelists, the excellent attorneys at Paul Weiss for their pro bono assistance, and our volunteers at the Pro Bono Committee for planning and organizing our Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic webinars. We will have more community presentations on topics related to COVID-19 and its impact on the AAPI community this month. For more information on anti-Asian harassment and violence, email aabanyclinic@gmail.com, call our hotline at 516-690-7724, and check out the resources that AABANY has compiled at https://www.aabany.org/page/covid19.

View the video of the webinar by clicking on the image above.

AABANY Clinic Hosts COVID-19-related Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Webinar

On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, the Asian American Bar Association’s (AABANY) Pro Bono & Community Service Committee hosted the webinar, “Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” This event addressed the increase in violent incidents against the Asian American community, and the relevant State and Federal laws for victims and witnesses of these hate crimes who seek to report them.

The webinar featured panelists David Chiang, Supervising Assistant District Attorney, Queens District Attorney’s Office; Joe Gim, Deputy Chief, Nassau County District Attorney; and Julia Kerr, Associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Eugene Kim, a volunteer at AABANY’s Pro Bono Clinic, moderated the panel.

David Chiang, Supervising Assistant District Attorney, Queens District Attorney’s Office, discussed New York Penal Law § 240 and § 485, both of which elevate sentencing for bias incidents to the criminal level. Section 240, covering Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, states that threats of physical violence based on the perception of race are considered as misdemeanors. Section 485, the Hate Crime Law, enhances sentencing for incidents proven to be motivated by bias.

Joe Gim, Deputy Bureau Chief, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, advised victims and bystanders of anti-Asian hate crimes to record the crime by taking a video of the incident with their phones or calling 911. Doing so would not only preserve the evidence necessary to strengthen the case against the perpetrator but also publicize these hateful acts to highlight the prevalence of anti-Asian violence. Even if the victim is not willing to come forward, whether due to language barriers or distrust of law enforcement, bystanders can still report the crime. After preserving evidence and notifying the police, the police will file a Complaint Report, and the case will either result in an arrest or be handed off to prosecutors and end up in trial.

Julia Kerr, Associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, concluded the webinar by encouraging individuals to report incidents of anti-Asian violence to both government and non-governmental organizations to prevent future hate crimes. In addition to calling 911, victims and bystanders can also reach out to the New York State and New York City Hate Crime Task Forces, MTA Hotline, local District Attorney, and NY Attorney General’s Office. Other resources include AABANY, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Communities Against Hate, Equality Watch, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Anti-Defamation League. 

We thank the panelists for joining us for this CLE program and Eugene for serving as the moderator. Look forward to more community presentations on COVID-19 and its impact on the APA community this month. For more information on anti-Asian harassment and violence, email aabanyclinic@gmail.com or call our hotline at 516-690-7724.

View the video of the webinar by clicking on the image above.

AABANY Hosts Screening of the Documentary “Blowin’ Up”

On Thursday, April 11, AABANY hosted a screening of “Blowin’ Up,” a feature documentary that explores the complex realities of sex work in New York City and the compassionate approach of a human trafficking court in Queens County. The film features AABANY member Honorable Toko Serita, Queens Supreme Court, as well as other heroines of the Human Trafficking Intervention Court, that work with victims of sexual exploitation who face prostitution-related charges.

After the screening, Beatrice Leong, AABANY Government Service and Public Interest Committee Co-Chair, led a panel discussion featuring speakers from the NYPD/FBI Joint Human Trafficking Task Force and a Queens Assistant District Attorney who prosecutes human traffickers. The panelists talked about how they worked together to prosecute the traffickers and how one can identify and help a suspected trafficking victim. The panel gave important insight into how gangs and traffickers target their victims, and the audience learned that many victims are new immigrants, local high school students or children in the foster care system. “Drugs can only be used once, but a person can be used over and over.”

If you suspect someone is a victim of trafficking,  you can email New York Police Department, at ved@nypd.org or visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/acs/youth/identify.page to report them.

We thank Beatrice Leong and Emily Arakawa for providing the photos and write-up for this blog post.

MFJC Core Trainings Series

From the Manhattan Family Justice Center:

The Manhattan Family Justice Center is pleased to announce our next round of Core  I and II trainings series for the months of June and July 2018.  The MFJC Core Trainings Program was created to provide trainings on the most relevant topics for service providers, community-based leaders and city agencies working with victims and survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV), sex trafficking and/or elder abuse. Please Click here to register.

If you plan to attend more than one of the scheduled sessions, you must select each one.  Once the training is no longer listed or available to select, it has reached maximum capacity of participants.

MFJC Core I trainings Spring 2018

Intimate Partner Violence  (IPV 101)

Facilitated by Arab American Family Support Center
Monday, June 4, 10:00-1:00PM

Risk Assessment and Safety Planning

Facilitated by Safe Horizon
Monday June 4, 2:00-4:00PM

IPV in the LGBTQ + Community

Facilitated by NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence
Wednesday June 6, 10:00-1:00PM

Cultural Conversations: Tools for Supportive Practice

Facilitated by Arab American Family Support Center
Monday June 11, 10:00-12:00PM

Elder Abuse

Facilitated by Carter Burden Network
Thursday June 14, 10:00-12:00PM

Engaging Trauma Survivor

Facilitated by NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence
Monday June 25 1:00-4:00PM

MFCJ Core II Spring Trainings 2018

Affordable Housing & Shelter Options for Intimate Partner Violence Survivors

Facilitated by New Destiny and Safe Horizon
Monday July 9, 1:00-4:00 PM

Affordable Housing & Shelter Options for Intimate Partner Violence Survivors

Facilitated by New Destiny and Safe Horizon
Monday July 9, 1:00-4:00 PM

Criminal Justice Response to Intimate Partner Violence

Facilitated by New York City Police Department and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
Monday July 11, 10:00-1:00 PM

Intro to Sex Trafficking

Facilitated by Womankind
Wednesday July 25, 10:00-12:00PM

Introduction to Family & Matrimonial Law

Facilitated by Legal Aid Society  
Thursday July 26, 10:00-12:30 PM

Economic Empowerment for Victims of Intimate Partner Violence

Facilitated by NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence
Thursday July 26, 1:00-3:00 PM

Introduction to Immigration Law

Facilitated by NYLAG and NMIC
Tuesday July 31, 10:00-1:00PM

Space is limited. Please bring a photo I.D. and plan to arrive 15-20 minutes early to avoid security delays. For any questions about the registration link or to add any colleagues to the MFJC trainings list, please email Indhira Castro at IndhiraC@fjcnyc.org

Asian American Bar Association of New York and Legal Services NYC Launch Pilot Program to Increase Free Legal Services to Low-Income Asian Americans

June 19, 2014, New York, NY— The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) is partnering with Legal Services NYC (LSNYC) to expand pro bono legal services to low-income Asian Americans in NYC. The collaboration will begin with a pilot program offering AABANY members a CLE training on immigration remedies available to victims of domestic violence. Training participants will represent clients pro bono to obtain U Nonimmigrant Status, commonly known as “U-Visas.” U-Visas are available to crime victims who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse and have cooperated with law enforcement. Pro bono attorneys will prepare U-Visas for LSNYC clients under the supervision of LSNYC attorneys. The first training will take place on June 25, 2014. 

The program launches at a time when Asian Americans in New York City have become the poorest New Yorkers, who face special challenges in accessing public services due to limited English proficiency. The Asian American community is the fastest growing ethnic group in New York City, doubling in size from 1990 to 2010.  Nearly one in six New Yorkers is an Asian American.

The collaboration will expand services to a population that is desperately in need of assistance, while enabling prospective and active attorneys to engage in meaningful pro bono work. AABANY and LSNYC hope to expand this project to offer opportunities and continued support for pro bono service for low-income Asian Americans in various practice areas. 

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (718) 228-7206, or direct any inquiries to main@aabany.org.

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community.  Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole.  AABANY is the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

Legal Services NYC fights poverty and seeks justice for low-income New Yorkers. For more than 45 years, we have challenged systemic injustice and helped clients meet basic needs for housing, income and economic security, family and immigration stability, education, and health care. LSNYC is the largest civil legal services provider in the country, with deep roots in all of the communities we serve. Our staff of almost 300 people in neighborhood-based offices and outreach sites across all five boroughs helps more than 70,500 New Yorkers annually.

Save the Dates! Upcoming Manhattan Family Justice Center Trainings

  • Consumer Credit and Debt Issues for IPV Survivors
          Friday, April 25th 3-5 pm
 
  • How to File Family Offense Petitions Online
          Monday, April 28th 12-1 pm
          Tuesday, April 29th 12-1 pm
 
  • Elder Abuse: What You Need to Know
          Wednesday, April 30th 1-4pm
 
  • Improving the Identification and Support of Sex Trafficking Victims
          Friday, May 2nd 1-4 pm
 
All trainings will be held in the MFJC Training Room at 80 Centre Street 5th Floor, New York, NY 10013. 

Questions? Contact Sarah Flatto.

Sarah Flatto
Director, Programs & Outreach
NYC Family Justice Center, Manhattan
80 Centre St. 5th Floor New York, NY 10013
Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence
(212) 602-2857 | (212) 602-2800
sarahf@fjcnyc.org | www.nyc.gov/domesticviolence

NAPABA Supports Victims of Typhoon Haiyan

As many of you know, the devastating super typhoon Haiyan ravaged the central Philippines last Friday.  As rescue workers have struggled to reach survivors, news of the immense damage and loss of life is gradually coming to light. As of this morning, death tolls are estimated to exceed 10,000 people, over 630,000 were forced from their homes, and more than 9.5 million have been affected.  The relief effort by aid agencies is just getting underway, and they must contend with the complicated logistics of getting people and aid out to the affected areas.  This will be extremely difficult because of the extreme disruption to ports and airports, and the inaccessibility of roads.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association expresses its condolences and extends its prayers to the victims of this disaster, and to the families of those who may have been affected.  NAPABA encourages you to support relief efforts in any way you feel appropriate.  But please note that when disasters like this occur, the victims are helped most by financial contributions to aid agencies, rather than donations of consumer goods.

If you want to make a donation, but are unsure of which aid agency you wish to support, NAPABA, together with the National Filipino American Lawyers Association, suggest the following:

Best Regards,

William J. Simonitsch 
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES NEW CO-DIRECTORS OF THE IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS PROGRAM

For Immediate Release

December 01, 2011

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES NEW CO-DIRECTORS OF THE IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS PROGRAM

Victims of Fraud Can Call the Immigrant Affairs Program Complaint Hotline at 212-335-3600

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the appointments of Assistant District Attorneys Mayerling Rivera and Rosemary Yu as co-Directors of the Office’s Immigrant Affairs Program. The Program was established in 2007 to investigate and prosecute fraud committed against immigrants, and to educate the public about immigration fraud and related issues through fraud prevention workshops and seminars. Since its creation, the Program has fielded more than 2,100 complaints.

“I would like to congratulate Assistant District Attorneys Mayerling Rivera and Rosemary Yu on their well-deserved appointments” said District Attorney Vance. “Keeping this city’s immigrant population safe is one of our top priorities. In their new roles, Ms. Rivera and Ms. Yu will spearhead our Office’s efforts to educate the public about immigration fraud and aggressively prosecute individuals who victimize our immigrant communities.”

District Attorney Vance also thanked Assistant District Attorney Daysi Mejia for her outstanding service during her four years as the founding Attorney-in-Charge of the Program.

Ms. Rivera joined the office in 1996 and spent eight years in Trial Bureau 70, where she prosecuted a variety of violent street crimes. During that time, she was also assigned to both the Sex Crimes and the Domestic Violence Units, and tried numerous felony sex crimes and domestic violence cases. In 2004, she transferred to the former Family Violence and Child Abuse Bureau, where she worked on both domestic violence and child abuse investigations. Recently, she has been assigned to the Special Victims Bureau, where she supervises domestic violence cases, conducts trainings, and handles U-Visa certifications. Throughout her career, Ms. Rivera has done extensive community work throughout the city, focusing specifically on Washington Heights. In addition to her case-related work, Ms. Rivera has frequently spoken on behalf of the Office on a variety of subjects including teen violence, child abuse, and domestic violence. A native New Yorker and fluent Spanish speaker who was raised in Washington Heights, Ms. Rivera is a graduate of Seton Hall University and received her law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law.

Ms. Yu is a native New Yorker who was raised in Chinatown. She joined the Office in 2005, following her graduation from Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. Ms. Yu was initially assigned to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, where she handled numerous felony narcotics cases and investigations. In 2008, she was one of four ADAs recognized by Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan for her outstanding case work. In 2009, Ms. Yu was assigned to the Special Investigations Bureau, where she worked almost exclusively with the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force on long-term narcotics investigations using electronic eavesdropping and other investigatory tools. Ms. Yu was assigned last year as one of the five inaugural ADAs in the new Crime Strategies Unit, where she is currently responsible for intelligence coordination and understanding crime trends for the east side of Manhattan South. Ms. Yu is also one of the founding members of the Prosecutors’ Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York. She is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School and Claremont McKenna College. After graduating from college, Ms. Yu worked for one year for former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.

The appointments will be effective as of December 9, 2011.