Advancing Justice Rebukes ICE Guidance That Could Force Out Thousands of International Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 8, 2020) — In a recent ICE July 6th press release, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced that international students at universities conducting classes entirely online as a health precaution would not be allowed to remain in the United States for the fall 2020 semester despite the ongoing pandemic. This rule change could lead to the forceful departure of over 360,000 enrolled students with F-1 and M-1 visas at American colleges and universities. This also forces universities to grapple with the choice between the health and safety of their students, staff, and others or divisive, anti-immigrant policy.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five independent civil rights organizations, releases the following statement:
“This new ICE rule is calculating and vindictive. This senseless policy disregards the education, health, and welfare of students across the country. It serves to only advance Trump’s white nationalist agenda and desire to purge the country of immigrants under the cover of COVID-19, while there is an utter lack of response to address the pandemic inside detentions and prisons, where people are dying.
Students are experiencing extreme changes and obstacles in their education as a result of the pandemic, but now ICE is treating international students like political pawns and dictating educational choices and leveraging immigration status as a weapon. This new move is another notch of cruelty in a long list of xenophobic and white supremacist policies targeting the immigrant community.
We applaud Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for filing a lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order and injunction to stop the enforcement of the rule. In the lawsuit, the schools argued that ‘returning to their home countries to participate in online instruction is impossible, impracticable, prohibitively expensive, and/or dangerous.’ Harvard and MIT alone have about 9,000 students who would be affected by the rule.
We demand ICE remove this unnecessary and spiteful rule. Further, we call on more colleges and universities to protect students and take legal action if ICE continues down this path.”
To our Asian American community,
If the uprisings have moved you, embrace that discomfort and grow. Now more than ever, we invite you to commit to racial equity, fight against white supremacy, and support Black people’s struggle for justice and liberation.
Freedom for Black people is freedom for us all. From America’s founding, Black organizers have dug up the white supremacist roots of a country built on slavery and genocide. Today, we join the Black movement’s call to transform a society that needs prisons and police to one that centers communities, resources, and justice.
To reject white supremacy, we must confront anti-Blackness in our communities. We acknowledge that our community has acted as a racial wedge by uplifting our own community at the expense of the Black community:
• We have often embraced the model minority myth that positions us as successful and obedient, which undermines the demands for structural change led by other communities of color.
• Some Asian Americans have fought to dismantle affirmative action, a policy that strives for racial equity in higher education, through a legal battle against Harvard.
• We have also been complicit in physical violence against Black people, as seen with the murder of Latasha Harlins by a Korean shopkeeper, the murder of Akai Gurley by the Asian American police officer Peter Liang, and most recently the inaction of officer Tou Thao as George Floyd was murdered in front of him.
Now we cannot afford to divide our communities. As COVID-19 disproportionately ravages the Black community and as police officers continue to murder Black people, our country has reached its breaking point. We must reject our position as a wedge and instead join the fight in defense of Black lives. (more…)
Job posting: Community Organizer
BACKGROUND AND MISSION
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity.
Advancing Justice | Chicago is deeply committed to grassroots community organizing. We invest in the leadership of grassroots community members through trainings, community education, civic engagement, and collaborative issue-based campaigns. Our advocacy work focuses on promoting racial, economic, and immigrant justice, including initiatives in the areas of voting rights, language access, and immigrant rights.
As part of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice national affiliation, Advancing Justice | Chicago is a leader in the nationwide Asian American movement. Regionally, Advancing Justice | Chicago is prioritizing the Midwest, and collaborating with partners across the Midwestern states to tackle common struggles and build power.
The Community Organizer position is an opportunity for a strategic and motivated relationship-builder to build power in the Asian American community, develop grassroots leadership, lead strategic issue campaigns, and move community members to take action. This position may fall under the staff sharing agreement between Advancing Justice | Chicago and Asian American Midwest Progressives (AAMP) so a small portion of time may be spent on 501(c)(4) activities including partisan electoral work.
- Develop grassroots leaders through A Just Chi, Advancing Justice | Chicago’s program for community members who want to build power and community and fight for racial equity;
- Organize in-person and virtual events, workshops, and trainings;
- Engage a distributed base of individuals through consistent virtual outreach (e.g., SMS/texting outreach, emails, social media, etc.);
- Represent Advancing Justice | Chicago in coalition spaces and contribute to coalition-led issue-based campaigns, primarily around immigrant rights;
- Mobilize community members to take action on key issues, including immigrant rights, language access, and police accountability;
- Manage civic engagement program for a sub-group of Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment (PAVE) Coalition partners, including negotiating memoranda of understanding, providing technical support, and troubleshooting challenges;
- Coordinate and lead annual 300-person lobby day in Springfield;
- Assist development staff in program-related fundraising;
- Collaborate with other staff on organization-wide initiatives.
Our executive director Andy Kang spoke to ABC 7 during the city’s reopening about the impact the pandemic has had on Chinatown and other Asian-owned businesses.
Executive Director Andy Kang commented on the president’s racist rhetoric and the harmful affects it has on the Asian American community.