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09.27.2020

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Condemns Move to Nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to The U.S. Supreme Court Before the Election

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Condemns Move to Nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to The U.S. Supreme Court Before the Election

The American People Deserve A Voice in Next SCOTUS Appointment

WASHINGTON, D.C. — September 26, 2020 — U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett was nominated by President Trump this afternoon to the Supreme Court of the United States, intending to fill the vacancy left by the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg one week ago. Asian Americans Advancing Justice opposes this nomination because she has a track record of harmful decisions affecting the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five independent Asian American civil rights organizations, issues the following statement in response to this nomination:

“Our rights, our lives, and our democracy are at stake in the nomination of the next Justice for the U.S. Supreme Court. To appoint someone who could potentially spend the next 30 years on the court, Congress should take more than 30 days to vet and confirm a potential Supreme Court Justice.

Judge Barrett has expressed disregard for judicial precedent that would put at risk the hard fought and won rights of our communities, including reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, and other critical civil rights of communities of color.
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09.16.2020

Asian American Civil Rights Groups Denounce Attempts at Dismantling Affirmative Action

Asian American Civil Rights Groups Denounce Attempts at Dismantling Affirmative Action

We have supported affirmative action policies through multiple legal challenges over the years because the evidence is clear that affirmative action benefits all students, including Asian Americans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Washington, D.C.—Sept. 16, 2020—Today, oral arguments begin in the appeal of SFFA v. Harvard. Although a federal court ruled last year that Harvard does not discriminate against Asian Americans in its undergraduate admissions process, SFFA filed an appeal in the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

This hearing also comes after the U.S. Department of Justice’s claims last month that Yale University discriminates against white and Asian American applicants, a claim that Yale firmly denies.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five independent Asian American civil rights organizations, issues the following statement:

“Attacks on race-conscious admissions policies are dangerous and harm equal opportunity for all. The case against Harvard used Asian Americans as a wedge against other students of color, when Asian American students benefit from affirmative action and race-conscious admissions policies.

We still need affirmative action. The reality is that race continues to unfairly limit educational opportunities for all students of color. Cold numerical indicators like grade point averages and standardized test scores capture and magnify those inequalities and cannot be fairly evaluated without considering the real-life impact of race and racism. Nor are standardized test scores accurate predictors of academic success. Our full life experience, including race, is also part of what we bring to the table.

The Supreme Court has ruled that race-conscious admissions programs that undertake a flexible, individualized review of applicants where race is just one of many factors is consistent with the 14th Amendment. Race-conscious programs should not be conflated with racial quotas or other unacceptable, unlawful forms of discrimination.

The newly-released 2020 Asian American Voter Survey revealed that a majority (70%) of Asian Americans are in support of affirmative action policies designed to help Black people, women, and other marginalized communities get better access to higher education.

Affirmative action expands opportunities for students beyond those who can claim legacy or affluence in college admissions, which has historically excluded communities of color, including Asian Americans. Advancing Justice will continue fighting to protect race-conscious, holistic admissions policies. We urge our communities and all communities to stand on the side of equity for all students and stand up for affirmative action.” (more…)

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08.28.2020

Advancing Justice Statement on Appointment of Tony Pham as ICE Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC — Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five independent Asian American civil rights organizations, issues the following statement today.

“On August 25, ICE announced that Tony Pham, a Vietnamese refugee, will be its next Acting Director. As lawyers, advocates, and members of immigrant and refugee communities, we have witnessed firsthand the terror and trauma that ICE inflicts on our communities. We have seen ICE rip apart families, lock immigrants in cages, and deny people even the most basic human rights. And these cruel detention and deportation practices have not spared even those who, like Tony Pham, fled to this country seeking refuge from violence and war. The United States has already deported over 2,000 Southeast Asian refugees, and 15,000 more live under constant fear that ICE will abruptly tear them away from their homes and their loved ones.

Tony Pham’s emphasis on his family’s “lawful path” to citizenship perpetuates an ahistorical and harmful narrative that ignores the harshness of our immigration system and dismisses the humanity of the millions of immigrants in the United States who are at risk of deportation. We reject this narrative. Tony Pham does not represent or speak for our communities, and his appointment as ICE Director in no way changes the fundamental cruelty of an agency that exists to criminalize immigrants. The United States must defund ICE and end the violence of deportation, and we will continue to fight for a future where our immigrant and refugee families can finally feel safe in their homes.

You can take action today to help us protect Vietnamese refugees from ICE. Tien Pham came to the United States when he was a child and was resettled in an impoverished and gang-controlled neighborhood, where he was bullied on a daily basis. At 17, he was arrested for a fight with a group of other youth and sentenced to life in prison. After 20 years in prison, a parole board recommended he be released, citing his rehabilitation, but ICE plans to arrest him on his release date. Call today to stop his transfer to ICE: http://bit.ly/StopICETransfers.”
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07.21.2020

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Vows to Fight Trump’s Latest Effort To Block Undocumented Immigrants from Fair Representation  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Vows to Fight Trump’s Latest Effort To Block Undocumented Immigrants from Fair Representation  

Washington, DC (July 21, 2020) In an unbelievable and unconstitutional move, President Trump today issued a Presidential Memorandum requiring the U.S. Census Bureau to exclude undocumented individuals from the count that is used for reapportioning Congressional seats.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five independent Asian American civil rights organizations, issues the following statement:

“We will not be moved by the President’s attempts to silence people in our country. This is the latest in a series of attempts to politicize the census and use it as a weapon in his anti-immigrant agenda. It is a move straight out of the white supremacists’ playbook that has every discriminatory practice to restrict the rights of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian American people.”

The Constitutional mandate is clear that the U.S. Census must count the “whole number of persons” in this country, regardless of immigration status. With this move, the President is pretending that people don’t exist and ignoring the Constitution in an attempt to tilt the scales of political power. Without an accurate count of everyone living in the U.S., the Trump Administration is sabotaging each of our communities to be under-resourced and underrepresented for the next decade.

Even in the face of racism, we will not be silenced. To individuals in our communities, do not be deterred. Everyone should be counted in the census. We encourage you to fill out the census if you have not already. Asian Americans Advancing Justice will continue to push for a fair and accurate count of all individuals in this country. We vow to fight this unconstitutional attack.”

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07.09.2020

Advancing Justice Rebukes ICE Guidance That Could Force Out Thousands of International Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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.»

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