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

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducts largest raid in a decade
  • Filipino WWII Veterans Parole Program at risk of termination
  • Attorney General William Barr makes it harder for migrants to receive asylum

Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducts largest raid in a decade​

Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance Immigrant Rights are Human Rights

Image Source: Jackson Free Press

On Wednesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers raided several Mississippi food processing plants, arresting approximately 680 mostly Latinx workers believed to not have legal work authorization, resulting in the largest ICE raid conducted in a decade. These raids took place at the seven largest agriculture and poultry processing plants in Mississippi that employ a majority of Latinx immigrants. The presence of ICE incites fear and harm in immigrant communities and results in the separation of family members. Earlier this summer, ICE deported over 50 Cambodian Americans, and 2018 saw the highest number of Cambodian deportations in US history. The AAPI immigrant community is not only the fastest-growing immigrant population in the United States--it is also the fastest-growing undocumented population.

  • Read about teachers at local school districts trying to support students who may be going home to empty houses
  • 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
  • See where else ICE raids have happened in the U.S. this year

Filipino WWII Veterans Parole Program at risk of termination

Filipino Veterans of World War Two pose in front of the United States Capitol with a banner that reads FAMILY REUINIFICATION FOR WWII US FILIPINO VETERANS

Image source: US-Philippines Society

Last Friday, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its plan to terminate a parole program that allows Filipino WWII veterans to be reunited with family members. The Veterans Parole Program allows an immediate family member of a veteran to legally enter the US to take care of the veteran as the family member waits for their immigration visa to become available. The termination of this program dishonors Filipino Veterans that served for the US military and prevents the immediate reunification of family members. The United States is home to the largest Filipino population abroad, and this termination is a further attempt to prevent immigration to the US.

  • Learn more about why family reunification through our immigration system is already especially burdensome for Filipino immigrants
  • Learn about the history of Filipino and veteran immigration to the US and Filipino WWII veterans’ fight for US recognition and compensation
  • Read Senator Hirono’s press release on how this decision treats immigrants cruelly

  Attorney General William Barr makes it harder for migrants to receive asylum

Families Belong Together

Image source: The Denver Post

On Monday, Attorney General William Barr issued a decision that restricts family members’ ability to receive asylum based on the claim that they are being targeted for persecution. This decision makes it even more difficult for migrants and their family members who are fleeing violence, threats, and danger to seek asylum in the US. Last year, a similar decision was made by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions that made it difficult for people to seek asylum on the basis of domestic or gang violence. Chinese nationals make up one of the largest groups of asylum seekers in the US. By restricting and tightening asylum eligibility, these decisions are an attempt to block and decrease the number of AAPI immigrants seeking entry into the US.

ap eye on the courts

Trump Administration Attempts to Gut Asylum Protections for Immigrants Fleeing Gender-Based Violence

In Grace v. Barr, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a permanent injunction barring policies put forth by former Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions that gut asylum protections for immigrants fleeing domestic and gang violence, from going into effect. The policies provided that “claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors will not qualify for asylum.” By creating a general rule that gender-based violence will not qualify as a credible fear for the purposes of asylum, the AG’s policies put the lives of many people, including many Asian immigrant women and girls, at risk. All people, regardless of their immigration status, deserve the right to live in a safe environment free from violence.

On appeal, NAPAWF has joined an amicus brief by Tahirih Justice Center in support of the district court’s permanent injunction. The brief argues that the AG’s policies are in conflict with existing law and would significantly harm survivors of domestic violence and other gender-based crimes by denying them refuge from persecution and the chance to live with dignity.

Other legal news

 

NAPAWF in the News

  • August 5, 2019, Macomb Daily, "Census 2020: It's one chance for everyone to be counted"

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