February 2020 - In This Issue:

Groundbreaking report on the state of the SEAA community
On this month's community call, SEARAC and Advancing Justice-LA were joined by four community leaders to launch a new report highlighting socioeconomic, housing, immigration, health, and education trends within the Southeast Asian American (SEAA) community in the United States. Meant as a resource for policymakers, funders, community-based organizations, organizers, and the general public, Southeast Asian American Journeys: A National Snapshot of Our Communities captured key disaggregated data for SEAA refugee communities who fled the trauma of war and violence following the Vietnam War, Khmer Rouge genocide, and bombings in Laos to seek haven in the United States 45 years ago. This comprehensive national report also featured statewide profiles, as well as individual refugee and  resettlement narratives. The report can be accessed here and a recording to the webinar can be accessed here.
LAT 2020 

10 more days to apply
Applications are open for SEARAC's 21st annual Leadership and Advocacy Trainingto be held on June 15-17, 2020, in Washington, DC. LAT is a three-day program that trains emerging advocates from Southeast Asian American (SEAA) communities to uplift their community's stories, explore SEAA identity, and build collective power as they learn how to become effective advocates for policy change. Participants will learn how to communicate effectively and implement framing skills, and will have the opportunity to apply these skills in meetings on Capitol Hill with their Congressional representatives.

Applications due: March 12, 2020

For more information, please visit or contact Gina Le.


ICE alert for Cambodian Americans  
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unexpectedly began arresting Cambodian community members in February 2020. If you are Cambodian with a final order of removal and have been asked to check-in with ICE soon, contact (415) 952-0413 to speak to a lawyer. For more resources and information regarding legal services, visit  . This number does not accept collect calls. If you do not reach someone, please leave a message with your contact information, the person's name, A-Number, and where they are detained. You can also email contact . You can consult this guide from SEARAC for background information and resources.

Resource statement on Laotian deportations
It was recently confirmed that the United States and the Lao government have a verbal agreement that would increase deportations of Hmong, Lao, Iu Mien, and other individuals from Laos with a final order of removal. If you are an individual originating from Laos with an order of removal, you can view this statement for resources you can contact for resources. For additional resources and information, visit

Deported Cambodian Americans reunited with their families
Two Cambodian Americans who were wrongfully deported were returned to the United States due to their unlawful deportations. With the help of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice - ALC and Asian Prisoner Support Committee , Sok Loeun was reunited with his family in January. Sok was deported in 2015 by Customs and Border Patrol despite unknowingly having obtained citizenship through his mother in 1996. Another individual, Thy Chea , returned to the United States on Feb. 26, after being deported two years ago for non-removal offenses. Through the efforts of the Asian American Resource Workshop and Greater Boston Legal Services , Thy became the first Cambodian American from the East Coast to return to the United States. 

US DOJ establishes office to denaturalize naturalized citizens
The United States Department of Justice announced on Feb. 26 that it will create an official section in its immigration office to terminate citizenship from naturalized citizens for certain conduct, including fraud. SEARAC is concerned that the Administration will use the office to target naturalized citizens more broadly, given its pattern of attacks on immigrant communities.

Final public charge rule currently in effect 
Organizations around the country hosted a series of teach-ins on Feb. 24 when the Trump Administration's much-dreaded public charge rule officially went into effect. "Public charge" forces millions of immigrant families to choose between protecting their immigration status or accessing critical, and oftentimes lifesaving health, nutrition, and housing benefits for their families. Click here to read SEARAC's prior statement on this discriminatory policy and click here for more information to share with your community to dispel any mis-information on public charge rollout.


Become a Census Ambassador
In February, SEARAC continued our efforts to prepare the SEAA community for the 2020 Census. Working with national partners, community-based organizations, and our Census Ambassador network, SEARAC promoted Census awareness on the most recent updates and resources. On Feb. 22, SEARAC facilitated a Census 101 workshop at the East Coast Asian American Student Union Conference: Building Bridges in Pittsburgh, PA. Sign up now to pledge to get counted in the 2020 Census and to become a Census ambassador to be connected with get out the count efforts and other ambassadors in your area!

Advocating for SEAA educational success
SEARAC is committed to providing community members, partners, and allies with the knowledge to help them be strong advocates for SEAA success in education. In February, SEARAC:

New Way Forward
The latest contribution to our staff blog comes from our Director of Immigration Policy Kham S. Moua, who reviews why the New Way Forward Act is necessary to combat Southeast Asian American deportations. Tell your Member of Congress to cosponsor the New Way Forward Act. You can find your house member here.

Work for SEARAC
SEARAC is seeking a Director of California, based in Sacramento, CA, and an Operations Manager, based in Washington, DC. Read more here

Job opportunities
The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD) is hiring for two full-time positions: Policy Director and Executive Office Coordinator. Read more here.

VietAID is looking for a CFO to manage all financial aspects, including investments and audit activities. This position is part-time and reports to the Executive Director. Read more here.

SEARAC is a national civil rights organization that empowers Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese American communities to create a socially just and equitable society. As representatives of the largest refugee community ever resettled in the United States, SEARAC stands together with other refugee communities, communities of color, and social justice movements in pursuit of social equity. 
Find out more at