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.”
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…)