Value Our Families op-ed: ” Attacks on immigration system are attacks on families”

Advancing Justice | Chicago senior organizer and Value Our Families campaign director Grace Pai wrote in the Peoria Journal Star about the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrant families and how the Reuniting Families Act can be part of the solution. Excerpt:

The Trump Administration’s racist crusade against families of color continued this month, creating fear among immigrants across the nation.

First, President Donald Trump ended both the Filipino World War II Veterans and Haitian Family Reunification programs. Then, he went after immigrants who seek to remain in the United States with their loved ones but whose modest financial resources would determine whether they have the right to stay.

Trump has redefined our legal, family-based immigration system to systematically disenfranchise low-income immigrant families of color and favor white and wealthy immigrants.

Read the full op-ed in the Peoria Journal Star. 

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JOB: PAVE Census Coordinator

PAVE Census Coordinator (Independent Contractor)

The Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment (PAVE) Coalition is a coalition of 13 Asian American serving organizations throughout the Chicagoland area. PAVE is the largest pan-Asian coalition in Illinois and drives significant issue advocacy and civic engagement work in our state. The PAVE Census Coordinator will strategize and coordinate the PAVE Coalition’s field plan for Census 2020.

Deadline for Application: August 15, 2019

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume to with the subject header “Census Coordinator” by August 15.

Job Type: Full time contract. Contract Length: Starts immediately through the End of May 2020.

Salary/Benefits: $23-25 hourly rate commensurate with the candidate’s experience and qualifications.

Supervision: PAVE Census Coordinator will be supervised by a sub-committee of PAVE Coalition staff that craft and keep accountability to a workplan. Day-to-day task supervision & support will be performed by staff at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago.


    • Facilitate the creation of PAVE field plan that includes PAVE partners’ communities and broader Asian American communities that are Hard To Count
    • Facilitate biweekly PAVE Census meetings
    • Represent the PAVE Coalition at relevant Complete Count Commissions or Committees, funder-related meetings, and other local, regional, and national efforts around the Census.
    • Collect & disseminate relevant census research/materials, particularly culturally relevant materials in-language.
    • Create and implement a PAVE Coalition communications strategy, including outreach to ethnic and traditional media outlets.
    • Provide technical assistance to PAVE partners in their community-specific, and geographic-specific efforts.
    • Organize PAVE Coalition-wide events.
    • Collect and track metrics across PAVE Coalition.
    • Advocate for increased resources for Asian American and Hard to Count communities when necessary.
    • Educate community members across the Chicagoland area on census-related topics.
    • Recruit and train volunteers for phonebanking and canvassing.


  • Skilled project manager, who is highly organized and able to multi-task effectively.
  • Effective communicator able to work with various stakeholders, including officials, PAVE staff, grassroots community members, and more.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and a car
  • Experience with communications strategy, including developing outreach materials, public service announcements, and working with traditional & ethnic media outlets.


  • Experience working on electoral or issue-based campaigns.
  • Experience working in coalitions.
  • Knowledgeable about the Asian American community in IL, particularly in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.
  • Skilled at graphic design.
  • Fluency in an Asian language is a plus.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply, regardless of race, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, age, height, weight, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, marital or domestic partner status, or religious affiliation.

Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment Coalition member organizations: Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights & Empowerment (AFIRE), Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, Cambodian Association of Illinois, Chinese American Service League (CASL), Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA), Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC), Hamdard Health Center, HANA Center, Indo-American Center (IAC), Japanese American Service Committee (JASC), Lao American Organization of Elgin (LAOE), Muslim Women Resource Center, Vietnamese Association of Illinois (VAI)

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Pritzker signs protections for immigrant children

On Tuesday, July 23, Governor JB Pritzker signed two bills into law (HB836 and HB1553) that would protect immigrant children in Illinois. These bills were supported by the Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment (PAVE) Coalition and sponsored by State Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz.

Justin Valas, Advancing Justice | Chicago’s Policy Director, spoke at the bill signing ceremony:

Today, we are excited to be among fellow Illinoisans welcoming these vital protections for immigrant youth and immigrant families into law.

For well over 100 years, Asian Americans have seen the impact of immigration policy on our families and communities-

From our Chinese immigrants detained on Angel Island under the Chinese Exclusion Act;

To young Japanese Americans, and our Japanese immigrant families, surrounded by barbed wire under Executive Order 9066;

We know the stories of our families caught up in an impossible immigration system, and the worries over what immigration enforcement could mean for our families and children.

While we work to reunite families and end detention at the federal level, we know that there’s so much that states can do to protect immigrant families and communities. With these bills signed today, Illinois is once again showing its commitment to our immigrant youth, families, and communities. We are proud to have worked alongside legislators and community organizations, including our partners in the Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment Coalition to pass these important protections. Our communities speak with the weight and power of history when we say that these protections are important, they are the right thing to do.

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President Trump Backs Down From Adding 2020 Census Citizenship Question


President Trump Backs Down From Adding 2020 Census Citizenship Question

Asian Americans Advancing Justice will continue to fight for an accurate count


July 11, 2019 — Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump held a press conference to announce he has ended his political wrangling in court and will not seek further legal action to include the citizenship question on the 2020 Census form. While this is a clear win in the fight to count all persons in the U.S., we will remain vigilant against any additional efforts by the administration to attack our immigrant community.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five civil rights organizations, responds to President Trump’s press conference with the following statement:

“The 2020 Census is finally free to pursue its true purpose – a fair and accurate count of all persons in the United States. We view this as a clear win for everyone — regardless of party or status — who believes in upholding the U.S. Constitution.”

“This announcement today puts an end to one chapter after more than a year of lies and rhetoric from this administration, whose purpose was to stoke fear and reduce participation within our immigrant communities.”

“However, in light of the president’s executive action, we know that the administration will continue to attack and tear immigrant families apart. Among other things, Asian Americans Advancing Justice is prepared to push back and fight against any new attacks on undocumented immigrants, of which 1.7 million are Asian Americans. Our communities will not be bullied or erased from the 2020 Census.”

“Defeating the citizenship question on the 2020 Census means that our communities can and will be visible in this census. Advancing Justice is committed to getting our community to participate and getting a fair and accurate count of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.”

Media Contacts:
Michelle Boykins, Advancing Justice | AAJC, 202-296-2300 x0144,
Milan Chang, Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, (415) 848-7754,
James Woo, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, 404-585-8446,
Brandon Lee, Advancing Justice – Chicago, 773-271-0899 x200,
Alison Vu, Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, (213) 241-0283,


Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice | AAJC (Washington, DC), Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and Advancing Justice | Chicago.

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