Ap eye on the hill

AP(Eye) on the Hill is our biweekly highlight of significant federal updates, particularly those that affect AAPI communities regarding reproductive health and rights, immigrant rights, and economic justice. Learn about NAPAWF's federal policy work while you're out on the ground!

Policy Recap

  • House of Representatives passes bill to increase the minimum wage to $15
  • Representative Chu reintroduces Reuniting Families Act
  • Trump administration moves to speed up deportation proceedings

House of Representatives passes bill to increase the minimum wage to $15

Workers rights advocates hold their fists up during a news conference on the Raise the Wage

Image Source: Washington Post

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the Raise the Wage Act (H.R.582), which raises the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 over the progression of seven years. The Raise the Wage Act gives nearly one in three working women a raise and would especially boost wages for women of color. This bill addresses persisting income inequality for tipped workers, disabled workers, rural area workers, and low-income workers. This is a crucial step to ensure that women can work with equity, dignity, and safety.

  • Call your Senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to pass the Raise the Wage Act in the Senate
  • Learn more about the wage gap that AAPI women experience, especially once data about our communities is disaggregated
  • Learn more about how AAPI transgender and gender non-conforming people struggle making ends meet under a $15 minimum wage

Representative Chu reintroduces Reuniting Families Act

A woman with a distraught look on her face holds up a sign that reads Children Need their PARENTS

Image source: Vox

Last Wednesday, Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) reintroduced the Reuniting Families Act (H.R.3799), which reduces family immigration visa backlogs. The bill recaptures unused visas lost over the past two decades, increases per-country limits, codifies work authorization for spouses on H-4 visas, and prevents children from aging out and losing their place in line due to bureaucratic delays. Approximately 40 percent of individuals waiting in the family visa backlog are from Asian countries, and a large proportion of those with the longest wait times come from the Philippines, India, Vietnam, and China. Immigration backlogs also disproportionately affect immigrant women: over 70 percent of all immigrant women obtain legal status through family-based visas. 

  • Call your representatives at 202-224-3121 and urge them to cosponsor the Reuniting Families Act!
  • Learn about how this act is important for LGBTQ+ Asian immigrants 
  • Sign this petition to support the Reuniting Families Act

Trump administration moves to speed up deportation proceedings 

Image source: United We Dream

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security decided to expedite deportation of undocumented immigrants unable to prove their continuous residency in the U.S. for at least two years by not allowing them a hearing before an immigration judge or legal representation. Immigration courts are also making it more difficult for immigrants to understand their rights and defend themselves by replacing language interpreters with “orientation videos.” In the US, Southeast Asians are consistently targeted for detention and deportation.

  • Check out NAPAWF’s Know Your Rights handout that is available in different languages and covers what to do if your family member is detained
  • Check out Southeast Asia Resource Action Center’s resources on getting pro-bono legal help and their support request form for members impacted by detention and deportation
  • Read our report, co-authored with the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), on the effects of detention and deportation on Southeast Asian American women and families
ap eye on the courts

Third Circuit Upholds Preliminary Injunction Blocking Trump Administration’s Birth Control Rules

On Friday, July 12, 2019, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a nationwide preliminary injunction barring the Trump Administration’s birth control rules from going into effect.  As a result, the nationwide injunction remains in effect. By allowing virtually any employer or university claiming a religious or moral objection to be exempt from providing birth control coverage for their employees and students, these rules would significantly roll back the Affordable Care Act’s birth control coverage requirement. NAPAWF, National Women’s Law Center, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and SisterLove filed an amicus brief in support of the preliminary injunction. The brief was cited by the Third Circuit in its decision.


Other legal news


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